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Immigration proceedings are civil, not criminal, which means that the government will not provide a lawyer to people who cannot afford one. Many people qualify for relief from deportation that would allow them to remain in the United States, but they must prove their eligibility and doing so requires presenting both legal arguments and evidence. Additionally, due to the criminalization of immigrants in the United States, ICE has broad power to “detain” people, or jail them, during their immigration proceedings, and many Long Beach residents have been detained at the Adelanto Detention Facility.

Since 2018, Long Beach has funded some removal defense for people whom ICE has detained during their court proceedings through the Long Beach Justice Fund. The intention behind focusing the funding on people who are detained and fighting against deportation was to address the most acute need first. People who are not detained may still face deportation and sometimes permanent exile from their homes and families, but the process usually takes longer and they may have greater ability to find a lawyer.

Over the past four years, LBJF has had many successes. Forty Long Beach residents have received legal help through LBJF; that assistance has meant more time together for Long Beach families. Additionally, the program has given community members a greater sense of safety; increased public education about the immigration system; and helped to shift local narratives surrounding immigration enforcement. However, community advocates who make referrals to the program have also identified several growth areas for the program, both in terms of the types of cases residents require legal assistance with and in terms of how the program liaises with clients, their families, and other advocates.

Who qualifies for the Long Beach Justice Fund

  • Must have strong ties to Long Beach. 

  • Must meet the income requirements dictated by the legal provider. 


The Long Beach Liberation Fund (LBLF) is a service intended to provide bond support to people who have been granted bond while in immigration detention. Immigration bonds can range from $5,000 to $30,000 and oftentimes, immigrant families are faced with economic hardships when a family member is detained and cannot afford to pay a bond. In collaboration with regional and nationwide partners, we have been able to facilitate the bond of 5 Long Beach residents.

Who qualifies for the Long Beach Liberation Fund

  • Due to high demand, we will prioritize Long Beach residents.

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