Legal Navigator: Unaccompanied Immigrant Children


The Background page provides resources & grounding that will feed into the development of our site & tools. On this page, you can find:

Links to other legal non-profits & groups that have projects dedicated to supporting Unaccompanied Immigrant Children.

A collection of Legal Resources to train new advocates in how to represent these children, what the relevant law is, and what essentials experts & lay users should know about the legal processes for these children.

News stories and background reports on the situation of unaccompanied immigrant children, why the surge of children has grown, and what the responses to it have been.


Mapping out access to Justice innovation ideas

Today, as I have the luxury to write out some papers based on past work, I am going through all of the concepts that have come out of our Lab’s many Access to Justice design workshops. I will be putting these proposed ideas into some schematics, to make sense of the most promising themes and


The Flow of Unaccompanied Children through the Immigration System

VERA Institute of Justice has published this report in March 2012 as a resource for legal practitioners, policy makers and researchers. Its authors are Olga Byrne and Elise Miller. The report walks through a child’s journey through the immigration system — where they come from, how they enter the system, where they will live, what


OneJustice: Video Training for SIJS cases

OneJustice published an online video training for attorneys who will be representing unaccompanied immigrant children. Hayley Upshaw, an LSC attorney walks the viewer through the basics of the relevant law & how to be an effective representative in a SIJ case. The training is about an hour and 20 minutes long, and posted 2 years


A Primer on Unaccompanied Alien Children

The Bipartisan Policy Center has a Primer on Unaccompanied Alien Children, published on July 21, 2014, by Lazaro Zamora. It gives an overview of what laws apply to these children, what the process they go through, and how new proposals to federal legislation may change them. Understanding the legal requirements and the history of the


Voicing the Due Process Right to Counsel for Unaccompanied Alien Children

A 2011 law article from Linda Kelly Hill, that argues that unaccompanied alien children do have a constitutional right to counsel in immigration proceedings. The abstract: Every year, the Department of Homeland Security detains thousands of unaccompanied alien children who have crossed the border into the United States. The framework set out in Lassiter v.


NIJC: Guide to SIJS for Pro Bono Attorneys

The Chicago-based NIJC published a 2010 pro bono guide for attorneys who will represent immigrant children in applications for SIJ Status. It is a 53 page guide that is targeted to lawyers taking on cases in Illinois.  


Report & Manual: Seeking Asylum Alone, unaccompanied kids & refugee protection in the US

The report Seeking Asylum Alone from June 2008, authored by Jacqueline Bhaba & Susan Schmidt, published by the MacArthur Foundation, gives an overview of legal procedures, social background, and policy recommendations regarding unaccompanied & separated children in the US. It presents quantitative & qualitative research data about what happens to children who end up in


LIRS: Working with Refugee & Immigrant Children

The Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service published a 17 page pdf report, Working with Refugee & Immigrant Children: Issues of Culture, Law & Development. It gathers together various resources to provide some guidelines & best practices on: how to question & speak with children how trauma may have affected children of different age ranges how


CAIR: Practice Manual for Pro Bono representatives of unaccompanied immigrant children

The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR) has published a 146-page pdf manual for pro bono attorneys who will be representing unaccompanied immigrant children in legal processes for asylum, a U Visa, a T Visa, or SIJ Status.  It was produced in collaboration with Sidley Austin. It was published in January 2014. The guide offers


Online training course: Representing Unaccompanied Children

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) is offering an online training course for legal practitioners who will be representing unaccompanied children in removal proceedings. It will be offered September 17 through October 15 this year.  You can still register here, and take the course for free. Here is CLINIC’s description of the course: This four


Practice Advisory on TVPRA protections for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

The ILRC hosts a 2009 practice advisory explaining how the 2008 version of the TVPRA provides increased legal relief options for unaccompanied alien children. It explains the updates to SIJ status and eligibility — which the 2008 law expanded significantly, as well as the new procedures the law introduced for applying for SIJ status.


ILRC: Grounds of Inadmissibility for SIJ status

The ILRC has published a two-page summary of the federal immigration law, that describes what grounds may make a client’s application for SIJ status be rendered inadmissible.  Some of the grounds are firm, others may be waived. These are useful in creating a Triage system to determine who is eligible to apply for SIJ.


Federal Law: Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008

Here is a copy of 2008 federal legislation — the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act — that provides for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, giving them legal protection and access to social services. It requires that unaccompanied alien children be screened for whether they have been trafficked — and if they have, to be transferred to the


ILRC: Quick Reference Fact Sheets on immigration options for undocumented kids

The ILRC has a pdf on its website that is a collection of quick fact sheets for lawyers to refer to when representing immigrant children.  It overviews essential facts on immigration options for undocumented immigrant children, from summer 2013. It offers one page overviews — with benefits, requirements, and eligibility information — for all the


ILRC: Webinar presentation on SIJS

The ILRC has a powerpoint presentation posted on its site from a 2009 webinar on SIJ Status.  The 60-slide long presentation highlights the legal authority for SIJ, how to apply for it, and how to proceed through court proceedings.


ILRC: SIJS Intro & Overview to the Law

The ILRC has published a chapter-long introduction & overview to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a pdf.  It is from January 2010. It covers topics like what SIJ is, who should apply, what risks there are to applying, and how lawyers can best represent clients in this situation.


ILRC’s map of the Deportation System for Minors

The ILRC has published a map of what the immigration system may look like for minors in the US — and the process steps of how they may be deported.


KIND: Training Manual for Representing Unaccompanied Children

This is a manual from KIND, Kids In Need of Defense, for pro bono attorneys representing unaccompanied immigrant minors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *