CAIR Coalition Expands Detained Children’s Project to Second Detention Facility in VA

by Kathryn M. Doan, Esq.

In September, CAIR Coalition expanded its Detained Children’s Project to include a second juvenile detention facility in Northern Virginia.  The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home in Alexandria, VA contracts with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide bed space for up to 10 immigrant children who are facing removal proceedings.  CAIR Coalition staff members will be providing these children with “Know Your Rights” presentations and individual consultations.  CAIR Coalition will also prepare the children for their first master calendar hearings and assist them in finding pro bono counsel.  In a limited number of cases, CAIR Coalition will also represent children in-house.

With the addition of the facility in Northern Virginia, CAIR Coalition is now the sole provider of legal services to detained immigrant children in the state of Virginia.  Since starting the program this spring at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton, VA  CAIR Coalition has provided legal assistance to 64 children ranging in age from 14 to 17.   The majority of the children are from Central America or Mexico.   Some have come to the United States to reunite with family members; others have been victims of severe domestic abuse or gang related violence in their home countries.  Still others are victims of human trafficking.

Like adult immigrant detainees, these children have no right to an attorney.  Without legal assistance, it’s very difficult for an adult to navigate the complex world of immigration law; for a child it’s virtually impossible.  Thanks to CAIR Coalition’s Detained Children’s Project no detained immigrant child in Virginia is facing the system alone.


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