The City Council in Sacramento, Calif. voted unanimously late Thursday to spend taxpayer money on services to help illegal immigrants fight deportation.
A network of legal, educational, and faith-based nonprofit groups will receive $300,000 to assist immigrants with a variety of issues, not just deportation, the Sacramento Bee reported. The funds would likely be available within a month, according to Sacramento Councilman Eric Guerra.
"The reality is there is a lot of fear," Guerra said. "We can alleviate that fear."
The funding would help children of illegal immigrants by providing them legal guardianships. Immigrants could also protect their bank accounts and homes with city-funded powers of attorney. The nonprofits receiving funding would educate immigrants on their rights as well.
Guerra, who led a task force that proposed allocating the city's funds, justified the decision by pointing out that illegal immigrants often pay taxes and contribute to the economy.
One board member of the Sacramento Republican Woman Federated called the council's decision "disgusting."
"I don't think that taxpayer money should be used to support this. I'd rather it be given to the homeless," Jennifer Garets told the Bee.