Unaccompanied Undocumented Minors
The Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) sections 13300-13307 authorize the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to provide grants to qualified nonprofit legal services organizations to provide legal services to eligible UUMs, as defined in Section 279(g)(2) of Title 6 of the United States Code, and other unaccompanied immigrant youth. The CDSS will award $2.9 million under WIC section 13300 to qualified nonprofits to assist UUMs in the physical custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in California or who are residing with a family member or other sponsor in the state after release from ORR custody. Beginning in FY 2022-23, CDSS will award $1.3 million under WIC section 13303 to provide removal defense services to Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth (UIY) who have not been processed by or held in the custody of the ORR.
The funding for legal services is for the purpose of providing legal representation for unaccompanied immigrant youth and UUMs in the filing of, preparation for, and representation in administrative and/or judicial proceedings for the following immigration statuses: Asylum, T-Visa, U-Visa, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or other immigration remedies available to these populations. Legal services include culturally and linguistically appropriate services provided by attorneys, paralegals, interpreters and other support staff for state court proceedings, federal immigration proceedings, and any appeals arising from those proceedings.
The CDSS Immigration Services Bureau is pleased to announce the recipients of the Unaccompanied Undocumented Minors (UUMs) Legal Services funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23. The CDSS allocated $4,200,000 to fund pro-bono legal services for the period of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. The funding award also includes $1.3 million to expand services to Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth (UIY) who have not been processed by or held in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The FY 2022-23 awarded nonprofit organizations are detailed in the FY 2022-23 UUM Funding Award Announcement.
Beginning in FY 2022-2023, CDSS transitioned the Unaccompanied Undocumented Minors (UUM) program from a two-year grant to a five-year grant. The five-year grant will begin July 1, 2022 and will end December 31, 2027 with five one-year budget cycles. For the duration of the grant term, the program will remain closed to the public. New organizations wishing to participate will have an opportunity to apply during the next open grant cycle in FY 2027-2028.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/23 UUM Legal Services Funding Request for Application (RFA) period is closed. Final UUM award announcements released in January 2023. The current UUM five (5) year grant cycle is through FY 2026/27. Next open grant cycle will be FY 2027/28.