Ensuring equal justice for all Kentuckians

Kentucky Equal Justice Center is a non-profit poverty law advocacy and research center.

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Maxwell Street Legal Clinic helps people from all over the world.
Maxwell Street Legal Clinic helps immigrant youth apply for new program

It's a mini-version of the proposed Dream Act, but more limited. It does not create a new legal immigration status or a path to citizenship. But it does something important: it lets immigrant youth with good school and military records know they won’t be deported in the next two years—and provides authorization to work.

It's called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We began helping prepare DACA applications when the program began in June 2012. Since then, we've helped more than 109 young people apply. Forty-eight have been approved—with a success rate of 100% on decisions so far.

New health outreach: enrolling kids

Our new Health Outreach Coordinator Miranda Brown has a special focus: enrolling kids in health coverage. Through Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, she will reach out through schools and community groups to low-income, Spanish-speaking and immigrant Kentuckians.

Miranda's work is part of a statewide initiative by Kentucky legal services programs. They're all working together to enroll 4000 children over the next two years--and help at least 1000 families re-enroll their children when the first year of coverage ends.

For more information, see the videos on this page. For help with enrollment, call Miranda at Maxwell Street Legal Clinic. Phone 859-233-3840. For a part-time position working with Miranda, see our Job Opportunties posting.

Meanwhile, thanks to community partners who are already helping us. Rosa Martin of Northeast Area Health Education Council shared tips for outreach and a wonderful community resource directory. Josh Santana hosted an event for Spanish-speaking parents at Arlington School in Lexington October 17.

Miranda spoke at Arlington about children's health, while AmeriCorps member Grace Mandry addressed workers' rights and Maxwell Street's immigration attorney Guion Johnstone gave an overview of immigration law. Lots of parents stayed afterward with follow-up questions.

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Kentucky Equal Justice Center Director Rich Seckel (right) attends signing of Kentucky's new human trafficking bill.
Kentucky's new human trafficking measure

Governor Steve Beshear signed it. Sponsor Rep. Sanny Overly said it could be the strongest measure in the country. It’s Kentucky’s new human trafficking bill. See HB 3 summary here . Much of the bill focuses on child victims of trafficking. It offers them safe harbor instead of criminal charges when others coerce them into elicit activity. Kentucky Equal Justice Center’s Trent Taylor and Rich Seckel worked closely with human trafficking advocates to craft a civil wage theft provision to fit the effort. It says that employers who improperly fail to pay wages must repay them three times over if a court finds they engaged in forced or coerced labor.

Kentucky Equal Justice Center

201 W. Short Street, Suite 310, Lexington, KY, 40507. 859-233-3057.