Reminder – Amazon Prime Day – July 16th

Amazon’s Prime Day is almost here.  Deals start July 16, 3pm ET and run through July 17.  Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping events of the year on Amazon.  If you plan to do your shopping, we want to remind you that you can support the Alameda County Law Library by using smile.amazon.com.  Amazon will donate to Alameda County Law Library.

Your shopping makes a difference. Amazon donates to Alameda County Law Library when you shop Prime Day deals at smile.amazon.com.

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Persistent Advocacy Yields Great Results for California Public Law Libraries

From Mark Estes, Director, Alameda County Law Library

Persistent Advocacy Yields Great Results for California Public Law Libraries

After several years of intensive advocacy on behalf of Californians desperately in need of legal support and resources, Alameda County Law Library and the Council of California County Law Librarians (CCCLL) are thrilled to report that the California Legislature included a supplemental funding allocation of $16.5 million for California County Law Libraries in the 2018/19 state budget. The Governor signed off on the budget, including the supplemental allocation for County Law Libraries, on June 27.

The need in California is tremendous, if not overwhelming.  The additional $16.5 million in funds will ensure that Californians retain access to legal information — and therefore access to justice.  County Law Libraries that were on the brink of closure will now be able to remain open and all California County Law Libraries will continue to serve the general public, particularly those who cannot afford counsel but find themselves facing legal challenges.  These new funds will allow the libraries to serve vulnerable populations and rural communities, address disaster preparedness and response and provide service for non-English speakers, especially in areas of immigration, workforce-reentry and housing.  In these and many other areas, Californians desperately need help.

Every day, people feel frustrated, helpless, ignored and unable to assert their rights because of their lack of financial resources and legal representation.  Every day, California County Law Libraries serve single parents trying to provide for their children, widows struggling to maintain their homes, disadvantaged but determined individuals trying to start their own businesses, distressed parents fighting for custody of their children, modest means individuals trying desperately to care for elderly parents and grandparents, those barred from gainful employment because they don’t know how to get criminal records cleared, tenants living in deplorable conditions, victims of notario fraud, DACA children terrified that their families are going to be torn apart and victims of domestic violence and workplace harassment seeking restraining orders.

CCCLL submitted the request for ongoing, stabilized funding of County Law Libraries to preserve access to information and access to justice for these individuals.  Funding from the State was critically needed because the civil filing fee revenue that County Law Libraries depend on had dropped by nearly 40% (or $16.5 million) since 2009.  Until this allocation, County Law Libraries had not received any general fund or special fund appropriations from the State.  Over 90% of County Law Library funding came from a small portion of civil filing fees (ranging from $2 to $50 per case, depending on the county and type of case) which fluctuated unpredictably.  In the past 9 years, a decrease in the number of case filings combined with an increase in the number of fee waivers granted, changes to jurisdictional limits and new exemptions adopted into law, caused law library revenue to drop precipitously.  California County Law Libraries asked each year for supplemental funding in the state’s budget to salvage this critical component of access to justice in California but, until now, did not receive any allocation whatsoever.

This year, the Legislature, recognizing that without County Law Libraries, most people have no access to legal information and therefore no access to justice, took decisive action to protect this critical public resource and the Governor ratified the action by signing the budget.

CCCLL is profoundly grateful to the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, the Latino Caucus, the 30+ individual legislators who wrote on behalf of County Law Libraries and access to justice, each of the California chapters of AALL (SCALL,  NOCALL and SANDALL) who wrote to voice support, and the many other individuals and elected officials who helped make this happen.

As the access to justice gap continues to widen, the need for County Law Library resources and services will only increase.  An estimated 70-80% of library users are not legal professionals, but rather individuals trying to understand their rights, navigate the complex judicial system, start a new business or transfer property.  The assistance they receive at their county law library is more than can be found in a book or legal database; it is personal assistance, legal research classes for non-lawyers, hands-on workshops, free consultations with lawyers and a safe, friendly, helpful place to ask questions and find help.  They may enter the library feeling alienated, stressed or even hostile towards their government, but the support they find at their County Law Library helps them feel that they too can obtain justice.  CCCLL will continue to advocate for ongoing funding so that Californians can continue to receive legal assistance and support.

 

 

Hot Topic Briefing: Family Separation And Family Detention At The Border

Tomorrow  – MCLE at ACLL

TOMORROW Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00 am, the Alameda County Law Library will be hosting a webcast of PLI’s program – Family Separation and Family Detention at the Border in Conference Room #8 at 125 12th Street, Oakland.  MCLE Participatory credit of 1 hour is available for this program.

Family Separation and Family Detention at the Border

Faculty:
Katie Annand, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Bree Bernwanger, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Laura P. Lunn, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network

To allow us to have the correct number of handouts available, please register at ACLL’s Eventbrite page –  https://tinyurl.com/y82yj5gw

Summary of topic –

In the past several weeks, the administration has escalated its efforts to detain, deport, and deter asylum seekers, particularly those from Central America. The administration has used a “zero-tolerance” policy of prosecuting misdemeanor border crossings to justify the separation of thousands of immigrant and refugee children from their parents, though it also separates many families outside of the prosecution context. As resistance to the en masse separation of newly arrived immigrant families mounted, President Trump issued an Executive Order to expand detention capacity for immigrant families. The Order directs administration officials to swiftly construct new family detention facilities as well as use existing Department of Defense facilities to detain immigrant families, and it seeks reversal of a longstanding court settlement that sets standards for the detention conditions of immigrant children. The Order does not direct administration officials to stop separating immigrant families. In addition, through a rarely used procedural mechanism, Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned a precedential case that had offered a clear path to asylum for many survivors of domestic and familial violence

 

For more information on registering directly with PLI  HERE

Opportunity For Pro Bono Activity In Texas Detention Center

Volunteer opportunity

“I’ve never experienced anything so powerful.  This is why I became a lawyer.” – CARA Volunteer Attorney

http://caraprobono.org/volunteer/  A volunteer-built and volunteer-managed site. For the official word on the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, visit the individual sites linked on the Who page.  This site was built to make it easy for the volunteer community to get involved with the CARA Pro Bono Project.

CARA operates a non-traditional pro bono model of legal services that directly represents the children and women incarcerated at the Dilley, Texas detention center. The inhumane and illegal incarceration of children and mothers must be solved by everyone anywhere in the United States. Volunteer recruitment is active and CARA needs volunteers now.

Volunteer Now at Dilley!<https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dilleyprobonoproject>

How does CARA work?

CARA operates an on-the-ground team that advocates for the children and women.  New volunteer teams arrive in Dilley each Sunday for orientation and work every day, usually 15-18 hours a day, through Friday.  At the end of the week, the new team arrives to take over and carry the work forward until all the children and women are released and the mass incarceration system ends.

All new volunteers are required to attend a pre-arrival web-based orientation.  This orientation takes place the week before you arrive on-the-ground.  It covers critical rules, goals, and systems.

All new volunteers are required to attend an on-the-ground orientation. This orientation takes place every Sunday in Dilley.  It covers the goals for the week, case assignments, task assignments, and everything else a volunteer needs to know.

All volunteers must be self-funded.  CARA provides no funding or financial assistance.  CARA’s partner organizations and allies may provide individual stipends or assistance.  You can donate to a CARA partner organization or ally

What do CARA volunteers do?

CARA volunteers appear in court, represent at credible fear interviews and bond proceedings, complete client intakes and client preparation; gather research and draft motions and declarations to support claims, and provide protection to the children and women from harsh detention conditions.  Advocates collect data and intelligence on DHS, ICE, and CBP detention practices with an eye towards shutting the facility down.

CARA provides orientation, training, and day to day guidance.  Volunteers are responsible for all their costs.  Independent fundraising is encouraged.

Who should volunteer?

The greatest need is for attorneys, law students and paralegals with interest and experience in asylum work.  Spanish speakers are preferred. If you don’t speak Spanish, you should consider collaborating with an interpreter to join you.  Non-immigration attorneys who speak Spanish are actively being recruited.  Other individuals are needed on the ground, too.  Social workers, psychologists, forensic anthropologists and individuals with strong research skills are needed. Compassion, endurance, resilience, flexibility, and commitment to ending incarceration of children are required for every volunteer.

How do I volunteer?

CARA organizes on-the-ground teams by matching skill sets with need. The on-the-ground team is at optimal efficiency with 15 volunteers. Volunteers should complete the volunteer application.  YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until your application has been accepted.  The volunteer coordinator matches applicants with project needs and may suggest a particular placement.

Volunteers are currently needed to assist with providing legal support for children and mothers detained at the Karnes Family Detention Center.  The Center, an hour south east of San Antonio, currently has bed space for up to 800 children and mothers, all families who have fled extreme violence in Central America.  As a volunteer you would work as part of the Karnes Pro Bono Project, providing legal support for families detained at the Center.

Ideal volunteers for this work are attorneys, law students or paralegals with an understanding of asylum law in the United States.  While experience is preferred, it is not a requirement as training will be provided to all volunteers before they enter the Center.  In order to help as part of this work it is required that you speak Spanish fluently, or that you are able to secure your own interpreter to join you at the Center.

Since the start of family detention in August of 2014 over 300 volunteers from around the country have helped provide legal services to over to over 3,000 asylum seekers.  We welcome volunteers from around the country and are able to assist in finding free homestays in San Antonio.  This is an opportunity that will stay with you for life, and we encourage you to join us in defending these vulnerable families.

To learn more and to volunteer in Karnes, please contact Andrea Meza at andrea.meza@raicestexas.org  <mailto:andrea.meza@raicestexas.org>.

 

 

Legalizing Othering – the United States of Islamophobia

Legalizing Othering – the United States of Islamophobia

The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society has published a Research Report (September 2017) about the rise of the “anti-Sharia law” movement since events of 9/11.  The report and online database aim to unmask the multiplicities of anti-Muslim and anti-Islam movements that have propelled the adoption of federal measures (2002 to present) and capitalized on electoral politics and state legislatures (2010 – 2016) to disproportionately legalize the “othering” of Muslims across the United States.

The title is available in the Alameda County Law Library collection  –

BP52/ .L44 / 2017

Legalizing othering : the United States of Islamophobia / by Elsadig Elsheikh, Basima Sisemore and Natalia Ramirez Lee.

Berkeley, CA : Haas Institute, 2017 Research Report September 2017.