Across the country, immigrant communities are justifiably living in fear as the Administration’s recent
policy changes have driven a dramatic increase in arrests and deportations. Local leaders have a duty to
keep their communities safe, and communities are safest when residents trust that institutions and
officials serve them and know they will be treated fairly. The constitutional guarantee of due process,
which applies to everyone residing in the United States regardless of their immigration status, cannot be
safeguarded when an immigrant faces the threat of deportation (removal) without the help of an
attorney. Providing fair representation in deportation proceedings is the single most effective way to
ensure that an individual’s right to due process is protected and that families are not needlessly
separated without receiving basic protections.
The City of Santa Ana is committed to protecting the rights of our immigrant and refugee residents, who
are a vital part of our families and communities. To that end, the City of Santa Ana has committed
$200,000 of one-time public funds to its legal defense fund, of which $180,000 will be available for
disbursement through this Request for Proposals for one year starting on February 1st.1 This funding will
be available for a program to provide legal representation to detained immigrants facing the threat of
deportation, as specified below.
In furtherance of this commitment, the City of Santa Ana has been granted membership in the Vera
Institute of Justice’s Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network– a diverse group of local
jurisdictions from around the country committed to due process and to providing legal representation to
immigrants facing removal. This funding will be made available for representation for removal defense
provided under the universal representation model, with a priority for serving those who are detained.
Interested legal service providers (LSPs) should base their proposals on $180,000 of funding for one
The Vera Institute of Justice is conducting this RFP process on behalf of the City of Santa Ana. All
proposals received by the deadline will be reviewed and scored by a team of experts in legal services,
program management and immigration law at the Vera Institute, and by representatives of the City of