Government leaders in Maryland's largest county are holding a public hearing on a proposal to spend about $375,000 of taxpayer money to hire attorneys for detained immigrants facing deportation.
The Montgomery County Council's proposal comes amid a federal government crackdown on illegal immigration. It already has generated opposition by some local residents ahead of Tuesday's public hearing.
The proposal calls for the county to give the money to the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, a Washington-based nonprofit. The money would be used to hire lawyers for people from households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or with a financial hardship.
The coalition estimates that roughly 85 to 90 detained individuals would receive legal services if the special appropriation is approved by the council.