SACRAMENTO, Calif. --Gov. Jerry Brown has set aside an extra $15 million in the state budget to expand legal defense for people battling deportation.
This brings the total of the state government's financial aid for those in the country illegally to approximately $33 million.
Under the revised budget Brown released last week, the one-time $15 million cash infusion was described as going toward further expanding "the availability of legal services for people seeking naturalization services, deportation defense, or assistance in securing other legal immigration status."
Immigrant rights groups and lawyers are hailing the move, saying the increase in funding is a sign that California is committed to protecting families.
Brown's office has not commented on the funds, and any changes on the use of the dollars must be hashed out with the Legislature.
Read the governor's revised 2017-18 budget by visiting www.ebudget.ca.gov/budget/2017-18MR.
Click here for more stories about immigration.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.