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About John Sciamanna

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

CWLA Joins Amicus Brief in Support of DACA

On Friday, October 4, 2019, more than 30 national groups submitted an amicus brief in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and in opposition to the Trump Administration’s attempt to repeal the original executive order. In June of this year, the Supreme Court announced that it would take up a legal challenge

Court Upholds Flores Protections: New Regulations Violate Rule of Law

On Friday, September 27, 2019, Judge Dolly Gee, slapped down the Trump Administration’s attempt to replace the Flores protections for immigrant children and their families through regulation. The Judge flat-out declared it a violation of the law. In her closing statement of the ruling Judge Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District

Judge Block Administration Expedited Removal of Immigrants

On Saturday, September 28, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued a preliminary injunction on the Trump Administration’s attempt to expand its use of expedited removals beyond just the 100-mile U.S. border. The policy change was announced in July and was to start on July 23, 2019, but the Administration took action without a regulatory

ABA’s Youth in Court Toolkit

The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Center on Children and the Law recently released its Youth in Court toolkit. The toolkit provides a basic framework of adolescent brain science, a legal overview of laws relating to youth engagement in case planning and court hearings, and tips for attorneys and judges to engage youth and support their

Census Data Shows Poverty Down in the U.S. and Large Income Disparities

On Thursday, September 26, the U.S. Census Bureau’s released the 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) detailing information on American social and economic measures such as jobs and occupations, educational attainment, and other topics. The nation’s Gini index, which measures income inequality, grew from 0.482 in 2017 to 0.485 last year, according to figures released Thursday

Child Trends Report on Funding Supports and Services for Transition-Age Youth

Child Trends released a report, sponsored by Youth Villages, on “Funding Supports and Services for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care” to address existing funding supports and services that do not adequately cover the types of intensive supports and skill development that many young people transitioning from foster care need. Nineteen child welfare leaders across

Juvenile Justice FY2020 Funding Passed out of Committee Unanimously

On Thursday, September 26, the Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously approved the FY2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) bill (S.2584) including funding for the $7.6 billion for the 2020 Decennial Census (an increase of $3.7 billion). Appropriations to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

Congress Breaks After CR is Adopted

The Senate gave an ok to HR 4378, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding for FY 2020 from October 1 through November 21, 2019. Both Houses will be off for the next two weeks for the combination of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Columbus Day. It is hoped that the additional time will allow

Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act Passes Unanimously

Last week, the House Financial Services Committee unanimously voted to send “The Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Act (H.R. 4300) (FSHO) to the House for a full vote. FSHO would give preference in housing vouchers to youth transitioning from foster care. The bill, which has bipartisan support, led by Congressman Mike Turner (D-OH) and Steve Stivers

Court Rejects Challenge to Maryland Law Banning Conversion Therapy of Minors

On September 20, 2019 a Federal District Court in Maryland rejected a challenge to Maryland’s recent law that prohibits conversion therapy of minor children. A Maryland psychotherapist, Christopher Doyle, claimed that the law violated his religious freedom. The plaintiff was supported by the Liberty Counsel based in Orlando Florida. Conversion therapy generally seeks to change

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