CAIR Coalition's Second Annual Noviembre de Niños
This month CAIR Coalition is focusing the spotlight on our Detained Children’s Program and the clients we serve through our Second Annual Noviembre de Niños: Stand With Immigrant Youth!
In our current political climate, animosity toward immigrant communities is rising. We at CAIR Coalition still believe that the United States is at its best when living up to the ideals encompassed in the phrase “a nation of immigrants,” when embodying the words of Emma Lazarus’ poem, emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, “Give me your tired, your poor,/ your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” We believe in due process and in equal justice for all, and we work to ensure that immigrants detained in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are afforded both.
In 2017, despite a decrease in the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the southern border, the backlog of pending children's cases has continued to rise. The latest case-by-case court data show that the court backlog of these children's cases reached an all-time high of 88,069 at the end of August 2017. According to the non-partisan, non-profit research center TRAC:
“Previous research has shown that individuals who have an attorney have much higher odds of success in Immigration Court. Despite many initiatives to increase the availability of representation in children's cases, still nearly three out of ten children whose cases began during FY 2015 were unrepresented. (A total of 19,202 of these cases have already been decided, while 12,126 are still pending.) The figure rises to four out of every ten for cases that began during FY 2016, and jumps to three out of four for cases that originated during FY 2017. Few children appearing in Immigration Court have the financial resources to hire an attorney, even though in most of the matters it is reasonable to assume they do not comprehend the nature of the proceedings they face or the complex procedural and substantive challenges of the immigration law. In addition, most unaccompanied minors do not speak English.”
CAIR Coalition’s Detained Children’s Program provides crucial legal services specifically to immigrant children and youth who have been detained in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, having been designated Unaccompanied Children. Many of these young people are severely traumatized by the violence they have experienced or witnessed in their home countries, and are eligible for asylum or other legal immigration relief in the United States. We are inspired by our clients’ bravery and perseverance in the face of situations no person should ever have to face, let alone as children. We are taking this month to focus on how we can all work together to better meet their needs, and we are asking you, our community, to spread the word and join us in Standing With Immigrant Youth this November.
So, how can you help?
Learn more about the issues. Throughout the month our blog posts will introduce and explore issues affecting the immigrant youth we serve. Staff, pro bono attorneys, and youth themselves will write about personal experiences, emerging legal issues, and other challenges facing unaccompanied immigrant minors.
Bring a smile to the face of a detained immigrant child. Purchase something off our Amazon Wish List full of books and activities to donate to the detention facilities that house the immigrant youth we serve. It is a quick and easy way to make a big difference in the life of a child detained far away from friends and family.
Provide legal representation. CAIR Coalition’s November newsletters will highlight the stories of immigrant youth in need of legal representation. Sign up as a Pro Bono Attorney on a case and an experienced CAIR Coalition attorney will mentor you through every step of the case. Learn more at one of our introductory trainings (details coming soon).
Support CAIR Coalition's ongoing work. We always welcome donations on our website to support the work we do every day.
Every year CAIR Coalition serves over 500 detained immigrant children, but we can’t do it alone. Please spread the word and join us in Standing With Immigrant Youth this November!