[pdf] DOJ, Dear Colleague Letter to Courts Regarding Fines and Fees for Youth and Adults (April 20, 2023) (+)

Joint letter issued by the e Civil Rights Division, Office of Justice Programs, and Office for Access to Justice, addresses in detail the assessment of fines and fees against both adults and juveniles. The letter includes an updated discussion of the relevant case law on the assessments of fines and fees, cautions against discriminatory enforcement of fines and fees, and details the obligations of federal funding recipients to comply with federal statutory prohibitions against discrimination in the imposition and collection of fines and fees. Pages 16-18 of the joint letter discuss the how recipients of federal financial assistance, including court systems, must also comply with statutory prohibitions against discrimination in the imposition of fines and fees and this includes courts must, for instance, provide appropriate language assistance services to LEP individuals in connection with assessment and collection of fines and fees. Such assistance includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that court users with LEP have competent interpreting and translation services during all related hearings, trials, and motions, provided at no cost.

[pdf] DOJ, Guidance to Federal Financial Assistance Recipients Regarding Title VI Prohibition Against National Origin Discrimination Affecting Limited English Proficient Persons (June 18, 2002) (+)

Final Department of Justice Guidance to all recipients of federal assistance regarding statutory and regulatory obligations to provide meaningful access to the benefits, services, information, and other important portions of recipient agency programs and activities for individuals who are limited English proficient.

[pdf] DOJ Assistant Attorney General Letter to Chief Justices and State Court Administrators (2018) (+)

This letter provides state courts further clarity regarding the requirement that courts receiving federal financial assistance provide meaningful access to all court services for Limited English Proficient individuals including courtrooms and hearing in all types of cases and to court services including information counters, clerks offices, and all court ordered services (e.g., counseling, batterers treatment, guardians ad litem, child advocates). The letter emphasizes that:
“The Federal requirement to provide language assistance to LEP individuals applies notwithstanding conflicting state or local laws or court rules.”
“Dispensing justice fairly, efficiently, and accurately is a cornerstone of the judiciary.”
“Language services expenses should be treated as a basic and essential operating expense, not as an ancillary cost.”

[pdf] DOJ: Enforcement of Nondiscrimination Laws in Programs and Activities That Receive Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 Funding (June 21, 2022) (+)

Attorney General memo requiring that as agencies begin obligating funding under existing programs and implementing newly funded grant programs, there are steps they can take to ensure that public funds are not being used in a discriminatory manner.

[pdf] DOJ Americans with Disability Act’s (ADA) Requirements Effective Communication (January 2014) (+)

The ADA requires that State and local governments and businesses and nonprofit organizations that serve the public communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities. The goal is
to ensure that communication with people with these disabilities is equally effective as communication with people without disabilities. This publication is designed to help these agencies who are title II and title III entities (“covered entities”) understand how the rules for effective communication, including rules that went into effect on March 15, 2011, apply to them.

[pdf] DOJ, Ensuring Language Access in the Courts (October 2023) (+)

The Civil Rights Division collaborates with state and local courts and stakeholders across the country to further the shared goal of equal access to the courts, regardless of English proficiency, and to ensure the integrity and fairness of the legal system for all. This publication provides examples of the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement and technical assistance activities that improve language access in state courts.

[pdf] Federal Funding Programs for State and Local Court Activities to Address Access to Justice for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals (August 2011) (+)

Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice publication providing charts describing federal funding opportunities available to state and local courts to support court’s work in providing language assistance services to LEP persons.

[pdf] DOJ: Remarks of Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke National Center for State Courts, Language Access in the Courts Convening (Virtual) October 26, 2023 (+)

Remarks of the DOJ Assistance Attorney General at an October 2023 Conference convened by the National Center for State Courts discussing the importance of language access in removing barriers to equal access to justice. and the work of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in promoting language access to courts.

[pdf] DOJ, Law Enforcement Letter Regarding Language Access Obligations (December 12, 2023) (+)

Letter from the Assistant Attorney General to law enforcement agencies regarding their language access obligations under federal language access law. This letter explains that “overcoming language barriers within a law enforcement agency is critical for three key reasons. First, accurate and timely communication protects officers and the public. When threats or other vital information are misunderstood, lives may be unnecessarily put at risk. Tragic consequences have resulted from officers’ inability to communicate in an accurate and timely manner with perpetrators, victims, or witnesses with LEP. Second, use of translation, interpretation, and other language assistance services promotes community trust and inclusion by sending a message that LEAs strive to equitably serve the whole community, irrespective of language barriers. Finally, accurate and timely language assistance also helps to ensure the reliability of witness accounts and other evidence. Collecting reliable evidence is at the very heart of the law enforcement mission and critical to achieving justice in the courtroom.

[pdf] Attorney General Memorandum – Strengthening the Federal Government’s Commitment to Language Access (November 21, 2022) (+)

Statement from the Attorney General of the United States instructing the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights will work collaboratively with agencies to help determine: (i) whether agencies can further update their language access policies and plans; (ii) whether agencies are effectively reaching individuals with limited English proficiency when disseminating information about federal resources, programs, and services; (iii) whether agencies have considered updates or modifications to guidance to federal financial assistance recipients regarding their obligations to provide meaningful language access under the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations; and (iv) whether agencies can adapt their digital communications to welcome individuals with limited English proficiency.

[pdf] Protection Orders Webinar Materials List (February 24, 2024) (+)

This list of training materials on civil protection orders has been developed to assist state court judges, attorneys, and victim advocates working with immigrant survivors. It covers protection orders for vicitms of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The list includes training tools, training manual chapters, bench cards, and links to webinars.

[pdf] Training Materials for Victim Advocates and Attorneys (11.28.23) (+)

Training materials for family lawyers, prosecutors, and state family, civil and criminal court judges assisting immigrant crime victims Topics include: U visas, T visas, Family Law cases, VAWA Self-Petitions, VAWA Confidentiality, Public Benefits, Best Practices, Language Access, Webinars, Podcasts and more.

[pdf] U Visa and Language Access (+)

Most people have heard the phrase, “communication is key.” This proves very true when working with victims of crime who are confronted with many physical, emotional, or psychological barriers to recovery. This workshop will discuss the U Visa, a powerful tool that assists law enforcement (LE) in effectively fighting crime and improving community safety while […]

[pdf] CCW Immigration leo 5.25.23 (+)

Victimization throughout immigrant communities is significantly high due to the victims’ fears of deportation, retaliation, or mistrust of law enforcement and with offenders not being held accountable. In response, the U Visa was designed to serve as a tool for law enforcement and prosecutors that provide victims of abuse the opportunity to work with the […]

[pdf] EOIR Form 26A: Fee Waiver Request (+)

This two-page document is a fee waiver application that eligible immigrants may file with their EOIR forms in immigration court. This fee waiver is specific to EOIR forms and immigration court. A different fee waiver form is required for USCIS applications and may be found here: https://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/pubs/i-912.

[pdf] OVW, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the VAWA Confidentiality Provisions (34 U.S.C. Section 12291(b)(2)) (October 2017) (+)

FAQ discusses the VAWA confidentiality protections that apply to Office on Violence Against Women grantees and subgrantees including the requirement that grantees and subgrantees “covered” by the VAWA Confidentiality Provision must adhere to the requirements of that Provision; that is, they may not disclose, reveal, or release personally identifying information or individual information collected in connection with services requested, utilized, or denied through grantees’ and subgrantees’ programs, regardless of whether the information has been encoded, encrypted, hashed, or otherwise protected.

[pdf] Form EOIR 42B: Application for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Nonpermanent Residents (+)

This form is an Application for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Nonpermanent Residents. The application includes instructions as well as the application itself. The instructions review eligibility, burden of proof, required documents, fees, and filing.

[pdf] Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Assistance Program Rule (July 8, 2016) (+)

The final rule from the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) on implementation of the victim assistance formula grant program. Discusses the fact that programs offering VAWA and OVC funded crime victims assistance are to provide assistance in light of “OVC’s policy clarification that victim eligibility for direct services under the VOCA Assistance Program is not dependent on the victim’s immigration status”. Notice that VOCA funded victims assistance programs and VOCA funded victims compensation were to be open to all persons who are victims in the state without regard to immigration status was sent to all VOCA Administrators of VOCA victim assistance programs and VOCA compensation on June 28, 2010.

[pdf] US DOJ Memo Case Processing Priorities 01 31 2017 (+)

This memorandum serves to rescind the February 3, 2016, memorandum (“Revised Docketing Practices Relating to Certain EOIR Priority Cases”) and the March 24, 2015, memorandum (“Docketing Practices Relating to Unaccompanied Children Cases and Adults with Children Released on Alternatives to Detention Cases in Light of New Priorities”).

[pdf] Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing for Immigrant Victims: Government Policies (February 10, 2017) (+)

This document brings together in one collection the polices issued by federal government agencies describing the legal rights of immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse, and the homeless to access emergency shelters and transitional housing from a wide array of programs offering these services who receive federal funding. The federal agency policies in this collection include policies issued by:
The U.S. Department of Justice (Office of Victims of Crime, Office on Violence Against Women)
The Health and Human Services (Family Violence Prevention)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
These policies provide the requirements for providers of emergency shelter, transitional housing and other programs offering services necessary to protect life and safety. this packet of policies will help advocates and attorneys working with immigrant survivors and immigrant children gain access to housing, services and assistance they are eligible to receive without regard to their immigration or LEP status.

[pdf] Interim Guidance on Verification of Citizenship, Qualified Alien Status and Eligibility Under Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (November 17, 1997) (+)

Department of Justice Guidance, issued in 1997 implementing 1996 laws (The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act -PRWORA and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act IIRAIRA) that together govern immigrant access to federal and state public benefits. These interim guidance have remained in effect since 1997. Although a proposed rule was published in 1998, that proposed rule was never promulgated or finalized. As a result these interim guidance continue to govern regarding the application process for public benefits for immigrants and at what point in the process benefits application process and under what circumstances are state and federal public benefits granting agencies authorized to contact DHS regarding immigration status eligibility for public benefits purposes. The interim guidance contains detailed information on public benefits eligibility for battered immigrants in Attachment 5 Exhibit B which also discusses the battered immigrant deeming exception, abused step-child eligibility for VAWA suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal; and discusses applying the “any credible evidence” standard to prove battery or extreme cruelty. It is important to note that the old fax based system for verification for battered immigrants has been replaced by the SAVE system which has special rules for how verification is conducted in cases of abused immigrants and immigrant crime victims to protect VAWA confidentiality.

[pdf] HUD-HHS-DOJ-Letter-Regarding-Immigrant-Access-to-Housing-and-Services (+)

This letter reiterates long standing federal policies that immigrants cannot be denied access to certain services necessary to protect life and safety based on their immigration status.
This letter reiterates that immigrants experiencing homelessness,  victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking or human trafficking may not be turned away on the basis of immigration status from life and safety services including but not limited to emergency shelters, and short-term housing assistance (including transitional housing and rapid re-housing), crisis counseling and intervention, soup kitchens, community food banks, emergency Medicaid and public health services.
Importantly, this Tri-Agency letter describes the anti-discrimination requirements that apply to all federal grantees and the application of these protections to cases involving immigrants

[pdf] DOJ Memorandum on the Implementation of Crime Bill Self-Petitioning for Abused or Battered Spouses or Children of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (April 16, 1996) (+)

DOJ Memorandum on the Implementation of Crime Bill Self-Petitioning for Abused or Battered Spouses or Children of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (April 16, 1996). This memo details the basic eligibility requirements for VAWA self-petitioning, adjustment of status, employment authorization, evidence in general, extreme hardship and battery and extreme cruelty. HQ 204-P

[pdf] Federal Register: New Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons (+)

This rule is intended to assist all concerned Federal officials, including, but not limited to, officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service), and eligible applicants, in implementing provisions of section 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA).

[pdf] Memorandum Regarding Deferred Action for Aliens with Bona Fide Applications for T Nonimmigrant Status (+)

Memorandum outlining changes in Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) procedures for deferred action determinations on behalf of victims of severe forms of trafficking whose applications for T nonimmigrant status have been determined to be bona fide but are still awaiting final adjudication by the Vermont Service Center (VSC).

[pdf] Blue Card: Screening Tool for Victims Who Qualify for Immigration Protective Relief (March 2, 2018) (+)

Questions for eligibility for protective relief under VAWA, Battered Spouse Waiver, T Visa, and U Visas, as well as information on language access.