A KIND Blog

Fragomen Launches Nationwide Pro Bono Initiative in Response to Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Crisis

Fragomen, the world's leading firm exclusively devoted to counseling corporate clients on global immigration law, is partnering with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) on a major pro bono initiative to represent unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings in the United States. The program was initiated in response to the unprecedented crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where tens of thousands of children have arrived after fleeing abuse and violence in Central America.

Read more: Fragomen Launches Nationwide Pro Bono Initiative in Response to Unaccompanied Immigrant Children...

New York State's role in addressing the influx of migrant youth from Central American countries

Testimony

New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Social Services Assembly Standing Committee on Children and Families Task Force on New Americans

Megan McKenna, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Communications and Advocacy Director

September 16, 2014

Thank you to Assembly Member Michele Titus, Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Social Services, Assembly Standing Committee on Children and Families Chair Donna Lupardo, Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, Chair of Assembly Task Force on New Americans for inviting Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) to speak before you today.

KIND is a national nonprofit organization that finds pro bono attorneys for unaccompanied children in deportation proceedings through our more than 220 law firm, corporate, and law school partners, which have agreed to represent unaccompanied children referred to KIND. With modest staff in our eight field offices across the country, KIND matches these volunteer attorneys with the children, and trains and mentors the attorneys throughout their cases. No immigration experience is necessary for an attorney to volunteer with KIND.

Read more: New York State's role in addressing the influx of migrant youth from Central American countries

House of Representatives’ Supplemental Funding Bill Harms Children, Does Not Address Key Issues

July 30, 2014 -- KIND strongly opposes the House of Representatives' supplemental funding bill introduced yesterday as it completely undermines existing protections for unaccompanied children, decimates due process, and does not address the root causes of this historic child migration.

Read more: House of Representatives’ Supplemental Funding Bill Harms Children, Does Not Address Key Issues

Congressional Progressive Caucus Ad-Hoc Hearing

Kids First: Examining the Southern Border Humanitarian Crisis
Testimony, Megan McKenna, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
July 29, 2014

Thank you Congressman Grijalva, Congressman Ellison, and other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for inviting me to testify before you today.

I am with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which has matched unaccompanied children with pro bono attorneys since 2009. We have partnered with more than 210 law firms, corporations, and law schools which agree to represent on a volunteer basis the children referred to KIND. KIND has trained more than 7,300 pro bono attorneys and has been referred over 6,300 children since we opened our doors. The response from the private sector has been and continues to be tremendous.

Read more: Congressional Progressive Caucus Ad-Hoc Hearing

Senator Mikulski Promotes Fairness, Protection, and Compassion for Unaccompanied Children in Supplemental Funding Bill

KIND greatly appreciates Senator Mikulski's ongoing concern for the unaccompanied children who have come to the United States seeking U.S protection. Senator Mikulski's supplemental funding bill would greatly enhance the ability of these children to access U.S. protection and ensure that they have full, fair, and timely adjudications.

In particular, the increase in funding for immigration judge teams and legal representation above the President's request is key to ensuring that we are not sending children who need and deserve US protection back to harm. As the majority of these children are traumatized, confused, and too young to understand the proceedings in which they find themselves, they desperately need a full hearing before an immigration judge and a lawyer to help them present their case. Without an attorney, it is very unlikely that these children can make their case for U.S. protection before a judge and against a government attorney who is arguing for the child's deportation. The Pew Research Center recently reported a 117 percent increase in children under 12 arriving - how can we expect them, or even older children, to defend themselves in these proceedings? Attorneys also ensure that children remain in the system. Recent data compiled by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) found that 90 percent or more unaccompanied children appear for their immigration court dates when represented by an attorney.

Read more: Senator Mikulski Promotes Fairness, Protection, and Compassion for Unaccompanied Children in...

Refugee, Legal and Policy Experts React to Obama Administration’s Supplemental Funding Request for Central American Children Seeking Protection

For Immediate Release:
July 9, 2014

Contact: Katy Green at 650-464-1545

Discuss the Policy, Priorities, and Path Forward

Washington, DC – Refugee, policy and legal experts held a press call today to review the Obama Administration's emergency supplemental request to respond to the increase in children fleeing Central America and seeking protection in the United States (as well as other countries in the region).

Speakers included Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights & Justice Program at the Women's Refugee Commission; Greg Chen, Director of Advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association; Megan McKenna, Communications and Advocacy Director for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND); and Leslie E. Vélez, Senior Protection Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

To listen to a recording of today's call, CLICK HERE.

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Obama Administration Must Not Abandon Protection of Unaccompanied Children

KIND IMAGE - ALWAYS USE

June 30, 2014-- Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is deeply concerned about the Obama administration's request to Congress for $2 billion to speed the deportations of unaccompanied children arriving to the United States.

"The administration is completely abandoning its responsibility and global leadership in protecting the most vulnerable by denying refugee and trafficked children fair and meaningful access to US protection," said KIND President Wendy Young.

Read more: Obama Administration Must Not Abandon Protection of Unaccompanied Children

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and House Members Introduce Legislation To Provide Legal Representation Of Unaccompanied Minors

The following is a press release from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) office. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie Báez (Jeffries) 917-518-0067
Dan Roth (Bass) 202-225-7084
Benjamin Soskin (Roybal-Allard) 202-225-1766
Courtney Hruska (Chu) 202-225-5464
Viet Shelton (DelBene) 202-225-6311

June 23, 2014

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES AND HOUSE MEMBERS INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE LEGAL REPRESENTATION OF UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

Reps. Jeffries, Bass, Roybal-Allard, Chu, Gutierrez, Deutch and DelBene introduce the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act of 2014

VIVA PC 1WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Karen Bass (CA-37), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), and Judy Chu (CA-27) held a press conference to announce introduction of the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act of 2014 (VIVA). The legislation would provide legal representation to unaccompanied minors and mentally disabled individuals during immigration proceedings, in the wake of the growing humanitarian crisis we confront.

 

Read more: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and House Members Introduce Legislation To Provide Legal Representation Of...

Sens. Menendez, Durbin, Hirono, and Reps. Gutierrez and Roybal-Allard Discuss Humanitarian and Refugee Children Crisis at the Border

The following is a press release from the office of Senator Menendez:

Washington, DC – At a press conference today, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) to address the hemispheric refugee crisis on the Southern border and in Central America. The Members discussed a series of actions and policy changes, on both the domestic and foreign affairs fronts, to better handle the surge of Central Americans being forced to leave their homelands as a result of the alarming levels of violence in the region.

Read more: Sens. Menendez, Durbin, Hirono, and Reps. Gutierrez and Roybal-Allard Discuss Humanitarian and...

URGENT: Child Migration Emergency – Please help!

Appeal June

 

Dear KIND Friend,

On one single day last week, the authorities took 1,000 children into custody as they crossed the border into the US alone, without a parent or guardian. Children like Eduardo, who fled his home country of El Salvador after seeing his friend murdered for refusing to join a gang. Sara, who escaped severe abuse in Guatemala, only to suffer rape during her journey. Gabriel, seeking to reunite with his mother, but abandoned by a smuggler in the desert.

Read more: URGENT: Child Migration Emergency – Please help!

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