OneJustice Blog

Bring life-changing legal help to Californians in need.

All aboard to Santa Barbara!

10,000 youth in need of immigration legal services

Just 50 cents per kid to put the Justice Bus on the road

Over the past year, volunteers with the Rural Justice Initiative (the Justice Bus Project and Rural Justice Collaborative) have provided life-changing legal assistance to over 275 immigrant youth who came to this country as very young children and have basically lived here their entire lives.  A two-year old federal immigration program was created specifically for these kids and is called “DACA,” which stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”  Kids who are approved through the DACA program can get work permits and their driver’s license, meaning they can support themselves and help their families.

These dedicated OneJustice volunteers have traveled to the far ends of the state to reach immigrant youth living in isolated communities – from Humboldt County in the north to El Dorado County to the east and the Inland Empire in the south.

And now we’re worried about Santa Barbara County – and specifically the northern end of the county, where the recession hit families hard on top of pre-existing high poverty density.  We know that there are over 7,000 kids eligible for the DACA program in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties – and another 3,000 who will be eligible as soon as they turn 15Access Makes all the Difference years old.

And here is the rub: there are only two legal aid programs in Santa Barbara County – and neither one does immigration services.  There is one small social services nonprofit trying to help these kids – with no attorney staff.  And in the northern part of the county – Santa Maria, where 35% of the children and youth live in poverty – there is literally no one to help.

Only 2 and 1/2 hours away from Los Angeles – and these kids have nowhere to turn.

So how about we change that?

So we’ve decided to invite the OneJustice network to crowdsource the funding for this particular Justice Bus trip. We need to raise just $5,000 to do our first-ever Justice Bus trip to reach low-income youth in northern Santa Barbara County who are eligible for DACA and need legal assistance to apply.

Let’s get the Justice Bus up there for the first time – and then make the connections to get there regularly.

There are 10,000 kids who need us.  And all it takes to get started? $5,000.  That’s 50 cents per kid.  I think we can do that.

We’ve set up a special online giving center specifically for this trip – check it out at You can get this Justice Bus route started through an online donation – of any size – today.  Thank you for your support!

Spring 2014 Campaign YOUTH

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