The Portland City Council approved a $500,000 grant for potential deportees' legal services, and Multnomah County is matching that amount.

A city official told Fox 12 that the funding, which is being called the “Universal Representation Project,” is for illegal immigrants and refugees who may not be able to afford an attorney during legal proceedings.

The grant money will go to Catholic Charities of Oregon, which will use the funds to hire attorneys and paralegals to represent potential deportees.

The Oregonian reported that the $500,000 from Portland will be drawn from the city general fund, which primarily pays for police, fire and parks operations.

On "Fox & Friends" on Sunday, former ICE supervisor Jason Piccolo said this move makes absolutely no sense.


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He noted that the Justice Department already provides a legal orientation program that gives lawyers training so they can represent illegal immigrants pro bono.

"Every time an alien is encountered and arrested by ICE or through the Border Patrol, they're provided a list of legal services, pro bono," Piccolo said. "So, using taxpayer-funded money does not make any sense."

Piccolo argued that this is just a political move that's being made for the anti-President Trump, anti-ICE optics.

"Anything that counters President Trump is what the Democrats are going to do," he said.

Portland city commissioner Chloe Eudaly has defended the legal funding, saying:

Providing access to legal services is about protecting everyone's constitutional right to due process. This is one of the most fundamental components of our democracy and every American regardless of immigration status should be proud to defend this value.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.


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