A city council committee will look into setting up a pilot defense fund for immigrants facing possible legal action under any measures passed by the federal government.
The proposal, sponsored by Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) goes to a committee chaired by Councilor Ayanna Pressley (at large) and will include a hearing at which possible ways to solicit financial and legal help from area companies, universities and law firms.
"We are a nation and a city and a state of laws and it is critical that people get due process," he said.
Jackson said that in addition to helping Boston residents who might need help, the fund would help protect the local economy, which is increasingly powered by foreign-board students, researchers and workers.
Separately, the council voted, at the request of Council President Michelle Wu, to re-establish a special committee on civil rights to look at the Boston ramifications of federal actions and other issues related to civil rights in the city:
The committee shall concern itself with matters relating to equal access to education, housing, employment and health care services. The committee shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to city, state, and federal laws prohibiting discrimination. The committee shall concern itself with exploring the development of programs and/or legislation to ensure that all are able to safely and fully participate in the civic life of our city and our economy. The committee shall explore opportunities for city agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals to work together to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Bostonians. The committee shall concern itself with promoting equal and fair access to public and private services and facilities for all residents, regardless of race, color, national origin, national ancestry, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age or disability.