Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

City of Santa Ana

Community: First Step Towards Legal Representation Program for Detained Immigrants / Primer Paso Hacia Programa para Inmigrantes

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the Santa Ana City Council took the first step toward establishing a legal services program for Santa Ana residents facing deportation. By a vote of 4-2 (only Council Members Juan Villegas and Jose Solorio voted No), the City Council directed staff to further pursue all five options presented in a staff report to assist detained immigrants in deportation proceedings who cannot afford an attorney.

The five options included:

1. partnering with immigrant defenders or other established providers of legal services
2. establishing a joint powers authority with one or more other government agencies to jointly provide legal representation to local residents for immigration proceedings
3. establishing a central location for referral of services
4. funding for a legal defense fund using residual funds
5. pursuing a grant from the Vera Institute which provides matching funds

These action items stem from an earlier decision made by the City Council on February 21, 2017 directing staff to collaborate with state and county government, as well as legal service providers and private stakeholders, to prepare a coordinated initiative to assist Santa Ana residents facing deportation. Statistics indicate that 68% of immigrants are unrepresented in immigration cases; and, that non-represented detained immigrants are able to demonstrate their eligibility for relief from deportation only 6% of the time, while those with lawyers succeed more than five times as often.

“The City of Santa Ana has emerged as a regional and national leader in local efforts to protect undocumented immigrants,” stated Councilmember Sarmiento. “We have taken a number of steps that demonstrate our commitment to protecting the rights of all of our residents, regardless of their immigration status,” he added.
The issue is expected to be brought back to the City Council in June. To view the full staff report presented at the May 16th meeting, please visit:


Santa Ana da el Primer Paso Hacia el Establecimiento de un Programa de Representación Legal para Inmigrantes Detenidos

El martes 16 de mayo de 2017, el Ayuntamiento de Santa Ana dio el primer paso hacia el establecimiento de un programa de servicios legales para los residentes de Santa Ana que enfrentan la deportación. Mediante un voto de 4-2, el Concejo Municipal dirigió al personal que continúen explorar cinco opciones presentadas en un informe para ayudar a inmigrantes detenidos en procedimientos de deportación que no tienen los medios para contratar un abogado. Las cinco opciones incluyen:

1. formar un enlace con defensores inmigrantes u otros proveedores de servicios legales
2. establecer una autoridad conjunta de poderes con una o más agencias gubernamentales para proporcionar conjuntamente representación legal a residentes locales para procedimientos de inmigración
3. establecer un lugar central para la remisión de servicios
4. financiamiento para un fondo de defensa legal usando fondos residuales
5. obtener un subsidio del Instituto Vera que proporciona fondos de contrapartida

Estos elementos de acción se derivan de una decisión anterior tomada por el Concejo Municipal el 21 de febrero de 2017, alentando la colaborar con el gobierno del estado y del condado, así como con proveedores de servicios legales y actores privados, para preparar una iniciativa coordinada para ayudar a los residentes de Santa Ana que enfrentan la deportación. Las estadísticas indican que el 68% de los inmigrantes no están representados en los casos de inmigración; y que los inmigrantes detenidos no representados son capaces de demostrar su elegibilidad para el alivio de la deportación sólo el 6% del tiempo, mientras que los que tienen abogados tienen éxito más de cinco veces más.

“La Ciudad de Santa Ana ha surgido como un líder regional y nacional en los esfuerzos locales para proteger a los inmigrantes indocumentados”, afirmó el Concejal Sarmiento. “Hemos tomado una serie de medidas que demuestran nuestro compromiso de proteger los derechos de todos nuestros residentes, independientemente de su estatus migratorio,” Sarmiento añadió.

Se espera que el tema se considere de nuevo por el Concejo Municipal de Santa Ana en junio. Para ver el informe presentado en la reunión del 16 de mayo, visite:

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

5 thoughts on “The Santa Ana City Council explains why they are funding legal services for detained immigrants”
  1. “4. funding for a legal defense fund using residual funds”.. WHAT residual funds? I thought the city was in a deficit, or will be shortly. When this idea/plan was introduced, I thought that the city was merely going to help coordinate services through the non-profits. So now, they plan on using our tax dollars? Please correct me if I’m wrong. This would be totally unacceptable!

  2. So let me get this straight, our brilliant city council wants to spend tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect people who can’t even vote them in?! They want to protect people who are breaking the law? Why is Santa Ana getting into the immigration issue? Now that we’re a sanctuary city, has crime gone down? Is our homeless population dwindling? Is our police force fully staffed? Are the streets no longer in disrepair? Is Santa Ana ok in every other aspect that we can now go and spend time and resources on helping the undocumented population? No wonder they’re facing a recall! Does Martinez term out this time, or is she eligible to reelection? She needs to go too. We got so many other issues to tackle first, I don’t understand why the city is choosing to spend money where it’s not 100% necessary. How much is this jail lay off costing us again? Didn’t Tinajero say he wanted to spend the reserves there to pay down the bonds? So he wants to just spend the same money over and over? Is he the type that opens up credit cards to transfer balances to pay less interest, but ends up maxing it out again only making the situation worse?!

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