Securing Equal JusticeSupporting Immigrants

Immigrant Children

Every year, an astonishing number of children enter the United States without a parent or guardian. The reasons they set out on long and perilous journeys—violent gangs, domestic abuse, and abject poverty, among others—are well known. But what happens once they get here? Many come into contact with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and are placed in the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While in custody or after release to a sponsor, the children must go through the daunting process of immigration proceedings in court, a task made even more difficult without legal representation. Our programs provide information and representation to these children through these processes to protect their due process rights.  

Additionally, an unusual study co-led by professional researchers at Vera and young adults who came alone to the United States earlier in their lives reveals the difficulties young solo immigrants routinely face: stigmatized as undocumented, shut out of school, made homeless when relationships with relatives are strained, and a host of other troubles. Yet the study also suggests how resilient they are, a sign of their untapped potential. For communities nationwide, this study can be the beginning of blueprint for how to welcome some of the most intrepid new Americans.

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