Tag: President Trump

Trump Budget Eliminates Legal Services Corporation Funding

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget eliminates funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). In his first budget proposal released Thursday, Trump is cutting discretionary spending to pay for an increase in defense spending and the wall on the Mexican border, the Washington Post reports.

The LSC is among 19 agencies in line for total elimination of funding. Others agencies to be cut include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, according to the Post and USA Today.

The American Bar Association is “outraged” that the Trump administration is calling to eliminate funding for the LSC and is calling upon members of Congress to restore it, ABA President Linda Klein said in a statement Thursday. Klein noted that LSC offices are in every congressional district and help 1.9 million people annually.

“Some of the worthy services the LSC provides include securing housing for veterans, protecting seniors from scams, delivering legal services to rural areas, protecting victims of domestic abuse and helping disaster survivors,” Klein wrote. “More than 30 cost-benefit studies all show that legal aid delivers far more in benefits than it costs,” Klein wrote. “If veterans become homeless, or disaster victims cannot rebuild, their costs to society are significantly more.”

Also supporting the LSC are the heads of more than 150 U.S. law firms, who told Trump in a letter that eliminating funding would hamper their ability to provide pro bono representation because they partner with legal aid groups receiving LSC funding.

“Eliminating the Legal Services Corp. will not only imperil the ability of civil legal aid organizations to serve Americans in need, it will also vastly diminish the private bar’s capacity to help these individuals,” the letter stated. “The pro bono activity facilitated by LSC funding is exactly the kind of public-private partnership the government should encourage, not eliminate.”

The LSC requested $502 million for fiscal year 2017 and received $385 million in appropriations for fiscal year 2016.

LSC President Jim Sandman remained optimistic about the outlook for the LSC in an interview with Bloomberg Big Law Business. He said he expected Congress to ignore Trump’s proposal and to grant the full $502 million funding request.

“We represent a fundamental American value—equal justice,” Sandman told Bloomberg. “That’s a value as old as the republic itself. Congress understands that.”

In an attempt to save the LSC, the American Bar Association is launching a grassroots campaign to engage constituents around the country to fight to save the LSC. Here is how it works:

  • Go to www.DefendLegalAid.org to register as Legal Aid Defenders and show your support for legal aid organizations.
  • Create a short message for our Members of Congress and submit your contact information to create a Legal Aid Defender card. The cards can be personalized by submitting a photo.
  • The ABA will print and hand-deliver every card to members of Congress (three cards for each participant – a House Member and two Senators).
  • The cards will be delivered by state delegations during ABA Day in Washington (April 25th – April 27th).

The Public Law Library of King County is a proud provider of free legal aid services, as well as a partner with several pro bono legal aid organizations in King County. Eliminating funding for the LSC will have a direct impact on our ability to continue offering legal aid services. Please consider defending the funding of LSC. For more information about how you can help legal aid in addition to becoming a Legal Aid Defender, please go to www.HelpLegalAid.org.

 

Read the original version of this article here.

University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center Launches #ImmigrationSyllabus

Earlier this year, immigration historians from across the country launched #ImmigrationSyllabus, a website and educational resource to help the public understand the deep historical roots of today’s immigration debates. Created in partnership with the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and made available through the University of Minnesota Libraries, #ImmigrationSyllabus is a tool for teaching, learning and advocacy. #ImmigrationSyllabus is available online at immigrationsyllabus.umn.edu.

“I am proud to be collaborating with colleagues across the United States in this important initiative,” said Erika Lee, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the U of M. “With current debates and federal actions on immigration, understanding the historical context of immigration in this nation is more vital than ever.”

The syllabus seeks to provide historical context to current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship. The syllabus follows a chronological overview of U.S. immigration history, but it also includes thematic weeks that cover salient issues in political discourse today such as xenophobia, deportation policy, and border policing. Listing essential topics and readings and linking to historical documents and multimedia sources, #ImmigrationSyllabus helps answer important questions such as:

  • Who has come to the United States and why?
  • Why has immigration been such a hotly debated topic then – and now?
  • When and why did the U.S. start building walls and banning and deporting immigrants?
  • What were the consequences of those policies?
  • What’s “new” about new immigration to the United States?
  • What lessons might we learn as we move forward?

Part of a recent academic movement to respond to pressing current events, the #ImmigrationSyllabus follows the #TrumpSyllabus, which helped readers understand the Donald Trump’s political success during the 2016 Presidential campaign; the #FergusonSyllabus, which inspired conversations about race, violence and activism in classrooms; and the #StandingRockSyllabus, which heightened awareness of the Dakota Access Pipeline and placed the #NoDAPL protests into historical context.

 

Find the original article here.

New Online Screening Tool Helps Undocumented Immigrants Learn About Options And Find Free Legal Help

The day President Donald Trump announced plans to move forward with construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and restrict immigration from Muslim-majority countries, Matthew Burnett launched his nonprofit’s new online tool for undocumented immigrants.

The Immigration Advocates Network, where Burnett is director, has created immi.org, an online tool site that allows undocumented immigrants and those with temporary status to answer questions about their personal histories, helping them figure out exactly which protections, pathways to citizenship, or legal assistance they could be eligible for.

Approximately 1.5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could be eligible for immigration benefits but do not know about it, Burnett said. And when they do navigate the complicated application process, it could cost up to $2,000 in lawyer’s fees.

“We need to be laser-focused on getting as many immigrants as possible aware of their options to protect their future,” he told Mashable. “If a benefit is available to get on the road to immigration or citizenship, they’re going to be protected from all those things we worry about.”

Most other immigration resources focus on filling out applications — not guidance on which applications people should actually complete. Immi.org takes care of the very first steps, helping anyone with questions about their immigration options figure out which path to pursue.

For example, someone who logs on to immi.org could discover that they are eligible for protections if they are a victim of certain crimes, a survivor of domestic violence, or from a country subject to civil war or natural disaster.

After answering the initial questions, the English and Spanish-language site then connects its users with local nonprofit legal centers and information on undocumented immigrants’ rights. As a security measure, any identifying information is collected separately from personal answers to questions about immigration status.

Along with undocumented immigrants, those with temporary status can figure out their next steps, and lawful permanent residents — such as green card holders — can learn about paths toward naturalization.

The only people who cannot use the site are potential immigrants who are not yet in the United States, or anyone who is already in deportation proceedings.

Supported by Open Society Foundations, the MacArthur Foundation and other donors, the civil legal aid organization Immigration Advocates Network started working on this project with the legal group Pro Bono Net about a year ago — before Trump even gained the Republican nomination for president.

If rules surrounding immigration change under the Trump administration, the site will adapt to ensure immigrants’ information is protected, and that its users are directed to their best paths forward in the United States.

“Our goal is to get information and resources available 24/7,” Burnett said.

 

Read the original article here.

The Ninth Circuit Faces Uncertain Future As Immigration Case Looms

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is receiving a large amount of attention in the battle over President Trump’s immigration executive order. If some lawmakers have their way, however, then the court could soon be split up into two courts.

This weekend, two judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals bench asked for more information from the Trump administration and its opponents about the constitutionality of the executive order, after a federal judge in Washington state issued a temporary restraining order.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals could be the last stop in the quickly evolving legal struggle over President Trump’s order before the dispute gets to the Supreme Court. But it will not be the last time the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is in the national news.

Shortly after November’s general election, congressional Republicans started working on a bill that would remove six states from the Ninth Circuit to create a new federal judicial district. (A similar bill was stalled in Congress last year.)

Currently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over cases originating in Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington state that pertain to federal laws and issues related to federal constitutional claims.

The newly created 12th Circuit would include Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington state. Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho and Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona are leading the current effort to get the legislation approved in Congress.

In a statement, Senator Flake said the action was needed because the Ninth Circuit is “oversized and overworked.” Flake cited the size of the court’s workload – it hears 33 percent more cases than any other federal circuit – and the failure rate of its cases accepted by the Supreme Court as reasons for the move.

“With problems like these, we are left to ask: Is the Ninth Circuit simply too big to succeed? If you are an Arizonan, the answer is unquestionably yes,” Flake said.

Critics of the move point to the Ninth Circuit’s reputation as one of the more liberal federal circuits in the country and that the move is an effort to create a federal district more friendly to Arizona and some other states.

The Ninth Circuit currently has 18 judges appointed by Democrats and seven appointed by Republicans, with four vacancies that can be filled by President Trump. Currently, seven of the nine judges in the prospective 12th Circuit states were appointed by Democratic Presidents.

The federal judiciary is organized into 12 regional circuit court systems that combine various states and the District of Columbia, and a Federal Circuit appeals court based in Washington, D.C., that hears dispute from other federal courts.

The last time a new Circuit Court Of Appeals was created was back in 1980, when Congress passed an act that created the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, with Alabama, Florida and George moving from the Fifth Circuit into the 11th Circuit. The former Fifth Circuit had 26 judges and also faced scheduling and logistical problems.

Read the original version of this article on Constitution Daily.

Immigration “Know Your Rights” Presentation at Highline College

WHEN? Saturday, February 4th, 2017

WHAT TIME? 10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE? Highline College, Student Union Building (Building 8), 2400 S. 240th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) is organizing a community education event to discuss changes to immigration policy for this Saturday, February 4th, at 10:00am at Highline College in Des Moines. The community presentation will explain the new executive orders issued by President Trump and other changes to immigration policy. Learn about your options and your legal rights. Presentations will be available in English and Spanish. Attorneys will be available to answer individual questions.

Learn more & RSVP:

https://www.nwirp.org/know-your-rights-presentation-at-highline-college/

https://www.facebook.com/events/955801097854316/

“Este sábado: Presentación Sobre los Cambios a la Política de Inmigración”

“Venga a un evento donde explicaremos las nuevas ordenes ejecutivas del presidente Trump y otros cambios a la política de inmigración.  Aprenda acerca se sus opciones y sus derechos legales.  Tendremos presentaciones en ingles y español y abogados estarán disponibles para responder a preguntas.”

Sábado 4 de febrero, 2017

10 a.m al mediodia

Highline College

Student Union Building (Edificio 8)

2400 S. 240th St.

Des Moines, WA 98198