By: Kenneth A. Smith, Kelly Thayer, and Kathy Garwold. Published by: Marin Community Foundation. Published on October 14, 2013
Founded in 1982, Canal Alliance’s Immigration Legal Services program (CA-ILS) offers the only affordable, comprehensive immigration legal assistance available to very low-income immigrant families in the Canal district of San Rafael and other Marin County neighborhoods.
Representation by CA-ILS’s advocates fulfills one of our society’s most basic promises: Equal Justice Under Law. In the process, it saves dollars by reducing the incidence of domestic violence, and boosts the economy by securing higher wages for immigrants and increased tax revenues for state and local governments.
This report describes the findings of an assessment of the economic and societal impacts of Canal Alliance’s Immigration Legal Services, one of the three nonprofit organizations funded by the Marin Community Foundation. It summarizes the legal assistance provided by CA-ILS over the four-year period 2009-2012, the vital benefits received by clients seeking to stabilize their lives, and the economic impacts that ripple outward to benefit the entire Marin community.
Additional investments aimed at bridging the “justice gap” will not only help many more immigrants, it will have dramatic economic and societal impacts that spread far beyond those directly served, to provide important benefits touching the entire Marin community.