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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Universal Representation Passes!

Last week, Multnomah County took historic steps to keep Oregon's immigrant and refugee families together. On May 31, the Multnomah County Board approved $500,000 for legal aid for immigrant and refugee communities. Multnomah County's allocation matched the city of Portland's recent $500,000 investment.

The $1,000,000 partnership between the city and county will start Oregon's first Universal Representation program. The funding will create an immigration legal defense network, providing free immigration lawyers to low-income Multnomah county residents actively facing deportation.

The legal defense network will ensure equitable access to justice for immigrant residents so that they can pursue relief and keep their family united. Representation makes a difference, immigrants with legal representation are three-and-a-half times more likely to prevail in their deportation cases than immigrants without a lawyer.

This victory wouldn't have been possible without the participation of community members and countless organizations that made phone calls, attended forums, and testified at hearings. Special thanks to Oregon Ready coalition partners at Catholic Charities, El Programa Hispano, Immigration Counseling Services, Innovation Law Lab, IRCO, Latino Network, Immigrant Defense Oregon at MPD, SOAR, and Pueblo Unido for working with us to make this possible.


Andrea Williams

Executive Director


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