Undocumented families in California schools, whether newly arrived or long-term residents, often need help accessing qualified legal representation for immigration court proceedings, or help posting immigration bond if detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Immigration court proceedings can take several months or even years to complete. Without the ability to post bond, these prolonged periods of detention can push families into poverty and create tremendous emotional strain for both parents and children.
IFDF has been one of the organizations that has made the most direct difference in the lives of Alameda County Public Defender Clients. It has served as a source of hope for actual reunification of clients with their children and families where there otherwise would be none. Our clients come from low-income communities and struggle financially – but no child should have to suffer separation from a parent for the sole reason of a parent’s financial inability to pay a bond or pay application fees. IFDF is making a difference in the lives of immigrant families and communities every single day. I honestly don’t know what we would do without them.Raha Jorjani, Director, Immigration Representation Project, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office