The Trump Administration Quietly Defunded Legal Services For Trafficking Victims–Huffington Post

Jenavieve Hatch

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The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime sets federal funding aside to assist crime victims, including the victims of human trafficking. Up until this month, in addition to services like health care, education and employment, the funds also covered legal representation ― which human trafficking victims have used to get their criminal records expunged or dismissed. More than 90 percent of human trafficking victims are arrested for crimes like prostitution, truancy or drug possession when they are being trafficked.

But the most recent iteration of the Office for Victims of Crime’s budget, released on June 25, added new language:

“OVC funding may not be used for criminal defense services,” it reads. “Direct representation on vacatur or expungement matters through court filings or through other litigation services, is NOT an allowable cost under this cooperative agreement or with FY 2018 funds.”

Assistance in paying for legal aid is essential to victims’ recovery process, wrote more than 100 trafficking survivors in a letter to the OVC on Friday.

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Emergency Law Inventory | Home

The Emergency Law Inventory, a CDC funded project, collects and simplifies the laws volunteers need and want to know.

 

Identifying legal issues and accessing laws can be difficult, even for lawyers. Although many laws are available on the internet, how can volunteers identify those impacting them specifically? How can they be sure all of the laws relevant to their activities are identified? And how do they know if the laws are updated and current?

ELI-V removes these barriers and gives users clear, concise summaries of those laws impacting participation in emergency activities. The laws are searchable by profession and jurisdiction so users can identify the provisions that impact them specifically.

New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS today announced plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new Form 1040 consolidates the current 1040, the 1040A and the 1040EZ into one form. The IRS will work with the tax community to finalize the streamlined Form 1040 over the summer to ensure a smooth transition.

Tax professionals can review a draft copy of the new Form 1040 and submit comments regarding the draft to WI.1040.Comments@IRS.gov.

Immigrant children begin appearing in court without lawyers or parents–ABA Journal

BY LORELEI LAIRD

Most immigrants facing deportation wouldn’t climb onto a table during their court hearings. But then again, most 3-year-olds don’t go to court without parents or lawyers.

Nonetheless, that was the situation during a recent court hearing for a child represented by the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles.

“It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids,” Center executive director Lindsay Toczylowski told the Texas Tribune.

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A federal judge in San Diego ordered the federal government this week to reunite families within 14 to 30 days, depending on the ages of the children. If the decision is not appealed, being reunited with parents may help the minors make their cases. However, as Reuters notes, some parents have already been deported without their kids. Advocates including ABA ProBAR director Kimi Jackson have observed that there is no federal procedure for reuniting families, and lawyers for adult immigrants say the hotlines the federal government has provided are rarely answered and provide little information when they are answered.

A group of immigrant advocates sued in 2014 for a court order granting lawyers to unaccompanied minors, arguing that it is “fundamentally unfair” to expect children to represent themselves. The suit argued that children needed lawyers under both their due process rights–which courts have repeatedly held applies to immigrants–and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s guarantee of a fair hearing. That case led one Justice Department expert to testify that he’d been able to teach immigration law to young children, a claim mocked by immigration lawyers and at least one late-night comedian.

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ILW.COM – Legal Education: EB-5 Regional Center Roundtable

Focus: EB-5 Roundtable with Angelo Paparelli

This month’s free 45-minute telephonic EB5 Roundtable with Angelo Paparelli features:
Guest Speakers: Mark Katzoff, Brandon Meyer and Rohit Turkhud
This month’s topic is: China Collapse – India Rising – New Regulations Forthcoming: What’s Next for the EB-5 Program?
Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 – Time: 2:00-2:30pm ET
Registration Deadline: 11:00pm (ET), Monday, May 28, 2018
To register, please see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/EB5RegionalCenterSeminars.shtm#regnow
To view speakers and their biographies, please see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/EB5RegionalCenterSeminars.shtm

Tax reform allows people with disabilities to put more money into ABLE accounts, expands eligibility for Saver’s Credit | Internal Revenue Service


If you have clients with disabilities, they can now put more money into their tax-favored Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enables eligible individuals with disabilities to put more money into their ABLE accounts, qualify for the Saver’s Credit in many cases and roll money from their 529 plans into their ABLE accounts.

For more information about ABLE accounts and the tax reform changes, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.

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Where taxpayers can get help any time of the year | Internal Revenue Service

While the federal income tax-filing deadline has ended, some of your clients may still need assistance. Several IRS resources are available year-round:

  • IRS.gov. You can find helpful information by clicking on “Help” at the top of the home page to access several online tools, obtain answers to tax questions with the Interactive Tax Assistant and the IRS Tax Map, and choose ‘Where’s My Refund?’ to check the status of your client’s refund.
  • Taxpayer Advocate ServiceTAS can help any of your clients experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems, or who believe that an IRS procedure is not working as it should. Contact TAS at 1-877-777-4778.
  • Low Income Taxpayer Clinics. The LITCsprovide professional representation to individuals who need to resolve tax problems.
  • Multimedia Center. A number of YouTube videos are available on a variety of topics in either EnglishSpanish or American Sign Language. IRS podcasts are also available in English and Spanish.
  • Twitter@IRSnews provides tax-related announcements and tips. @IRStaxprostweets news and guidance for tax professionals. Tweets from @IRSenEspanolhave news and information in Spanish.
  • The Taxpayer Advocate Service sends tweets from @YourVoiceAtIRS.

For more information, visit https://go.usa.gov/xQHcZ.

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