Harris County Democrats Facilitating Illegal Immigration by Using Millions of Taxpayer Funds
On November 10, 2020, Harris County Community Services Department received Commissioners Court approval (3-2 Party-line vote) to design and implement the Immigrant Legal Services Fund (ILSF) Program in Harris County. Commissioners Court allocating $2,000,000 of Harris County General Funds for the one-year provision of deportation defense legal services, subject to a one-year extension. The services are to be provided by non-profit legal service providers (LSPs) with demonstrated experience in immigration law and removal defense. CSD designed the Program’s guidelines and created a Request for Proposal (RFP) following Commissioners Court Order. CSD utilized Harris County Purchasing Department for the procurement process. Purchasing accepted proposals from non-profit immigration legal service providers to deliver direct legal representation to immigrant Harris County residents in detention or facing the threat of deportation.
On October 2021, the legal service providers were selected by an evaluation committee composed of representatives of each County Precinct, the County Judge’s Office, several County agencies, as well as non-voting members comprised of community advocates and immigration law experts. BakerRipley was selected as one of the providers, along with Justice for all Immigrants (JFAI), Kids in Need of Defense, Inc. (KIND), and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, Inc. (RAICES). The selected LSPs will provide direct legal representation to eligible clients. Indigent individuals unrepresented by legal counsel and facing deportation who are residents of Harris County may qualify for services under the Program. The Contract’s term will be one year, subject to a one-year extension. BakerRipley will provide free holistic legal representation to immigrants detained in immigration detention facilities and facing the threat of deportation in Harris County.
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In addition to the $2 million the County Democrats awarded to the Immigration Legal Services fund, they awarded another $171,505k to BakerRipley for the newly formed partnership in the Immigration Legal Services Foundation.
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