Save a Child - Take a Case!

As part of Noviembre de Ninos, CAIR Coalition is focusing on placing child clients with pro bono attorneys.   Numerous studies and reports speak to the significant increase in an immigrant’s chance of winning their fight against deportation if they are represented by an attorney.  Now is the time to commit to taking on a case pro bono (visit here for open cases).

There is no right to an appointed counsel in immigration proceedings.  If a child cannot find a free attorney, most likely they will have to face immigration court alone.  Ask yourself: Could I represent myself through a complex immigration defense case?  You likely answered no.  Now imagine trying to represent yourself but take away your higher education, your family support, and your ability to speak the local language.  This is the challenge that immigrant children face.

If you take on representation of a child you are, quite literally, a life-saver.  You will help a child stay in the United States, far from the violence, abuse, and threats that fled in their home country. 

The two key types of cases CAIR Coalition placed with pro bono attorneys working with children are:

CHILDREN’S ASYLUM

Background:  Asylum is available to children with a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. 

Pro Bono Team’s Role:  Prepare application, including background materials on the child’s story and home country conditions, a form I-589, and a legal brief; submit the application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”); accompany the child to an asylum interview by a USCIS official; and appear in Immigration Court to inform the Court of the USCIS process.

SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS (“SIJS”)

Background:  SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest.   SIJS requires two approvals, one from a state family court and one from USCIS. 

Pro Bono Team’s Role:  Appear in state family court to obtain an order that the child meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit an SIJS application package with USCIS; and, appear with the child at a USCIS interview, if required.

If you are interested in taking on a pro bono case, please contact our Pro Bono Director Michael Lukens at michael@caircoalition.org