San Mateo County's Removal Defense Fund & Rapid Response Network
The federal government has continued to increase the extent of immigration enforcement in San Mateo County, continuing a trend of more immigrant residents of the County being placed in removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Many immigrants in such proceedings lack the resources to secure legal representation in such proceedings.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates that about half of the 114,000 residents of San Mateo County who are foreign born and not naturalized United States citizens are lawful permanent residents or have visas. The other half are unauthorized immigrants. Of these 57,000 unauthorized residents, more than half have lived in the United States for more than 10 years. More than 70% of the adults are employed, and many have U.S. citizen children. These San Mateo County residents are our neighbors and co-workers, members of our congregations; their children learn alongside ours at local schools. They are part of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of our community.
In September 2018, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved funding to support a rapid response network and local non-profit legal service organizations to assist in representing San Mateo County residents in removal defense. They have continued this funding through August 2020!
Below is a graphic that provides information on how to utilize the rapid response network if you or someone you know has an interaction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)