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Walsh’s budget includes $50,000 for immigrant legal defense

Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund as a pilot program in 2017.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund as a pilot program in 2017.(Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/File)

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes $50,000 in city funds to help immigrants facing deportation to hire lawyers, the mayor’s office announced Saturday.

If approved by the City Council, the funds will support the Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund, which Walsh launched as a pilot program in 2017 after then-city councilor Tito Jackson proposed such a fund while running to unseat Walsh as mayor.

Walsh has long pledged that Boston will offer safe harbor for undocumented immigrants so long as they are not accused of crimes. In a news conference shortly after President Trump took office and began enacting harsh immigration policies, Walsh famously offered City Hall as a shelter of last resort for immigrants in need.

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“They can use my office. They can use any office in this building,’’ Walsh said in January 2017.

Walsh submitted his $3.48 billion budget plan to the City Council earlier this month. The proposal also includes $15 million in new funding to set up universal pre-kindergarten and $6.4 million for new housing initiatives.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.