Tom Steyer to invest additional $1M to help immigrants fight deportation

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Addressing the annual gathering of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Thursday afternoon, NextGen America founder Tom Steyer announced an additional $1 million investment to strengthen a number of immigrant legal aid organizations that are currently a part of his group's national legal services network.

"For those facing the brutality and violence of deportation, whose lives are on the verge of being suddenly and horribly pulled apart, legal resources can be the difference between deportation and safety," said Steyer.

VIDEO: Tom Steyer talks to ABC7 News about investment to help immigrants fight deportation
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NextGen America founder and Bay Area philanthropist Tom Steyer discusses his additional $1 million investment to help immigrants fight deportation.

Last year, through NextGen America, Steyer gave $2.3 million to support organizations with meeting the increased demand from immigrants seeking legal protection.

"These people are the most vulnerable in our society, and if we're not going to fight for them, who's going to?" said Nicholas Costa, an immigration attorney based in Portland.

Steyer has spent millions of dollars on commercials calling for the impeachment of President Trump.

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"Legal services are an indispensable resource for our immigrant families, and until we address the immigration system in a comprehensive and humane way, it is vital that these programs be expanded and strengthened," said Steyer.

Critics have painted the Bay Area philanthropist as an out-of-touch billionaire who's trying to use his money to affect the mid-term elections, but Steyer says the naysayers are to be expected. He has made it his mission to help the Dems take back the House in November.

"We're trying to move forward in a positive way into the future together, instead of just trying to divide society, in a very destructive and bigoted way," said Steyer.

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Many conference attendees are appreciative of Steyer's support.

San Francisco-based immigration attorney Summer Bei said: "It's a tough group of people, and we're willing to stick with it and find a way, to best help all of these individuals."

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