Denver launches growing immigrant defense fund to aid people with problems stemming from their legal status.

Move is among city actions that have drawn federal ire amid crackdown on illegal immigration.

Denver city officials on Monday launched a long-discussed legal defense fund that now stands to direct $385,000 — and growing — to organizations that help immigrants who are facing deportation and other legal issues.

The intention of Denver’s new fund is for nonprofit groups to provide attorneys for people who are fighting removal proceedings, as long as there is a reasonable defense case to be made. The groups also could use the money to help people who were brought to the United States as children and have been protected by the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which is under court review.