Kids in Need of Defense [KIND]
KIND is a nonprofit organization that was started in 2008 by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie to recruit pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied immigrant children in US immigration courts. So far, the organization has recruited more than 25,000 lawyers nationwide willing to take a child’s case for free. Despite this, half of these children are going to immigration court with no legal advocate by their side. They are being asked to argue complex asylum cases with no help. Among children who have legal representation, 7 in 10 win their cases [and 9 in 10 with KIND lawyers]. Among children with no legal representation, 9 in 10 lose their cases.
Many of these children are fleeing persecution from gangs, abuse or violence. Some are left abandoned by parents and are forced to fend for themselves. Children who are apprehended by US Border Patrol are not entitled to a public defender or advocate to help them make their case to an immigration judge before being deported–sometimes to harm or death in their home countries. KIND is working to ensure that no child faces going to court alone. Sonia Nazario is on the board of KIND.
Read about KIND:
To support KIND: https://www.supportkind.org/en/get-involved
Fusion TV segment on KIND http://fusion.net/America_with_Jorge_Ramos/video/children-left-defenseless-immigration-courts-322199
Migrant Children Deserve a Voice in Court NYT article
Groups like @supportKIND, of which I am proudly a board member, have recruited more than 14,000 pro bono attorneys since 2008 to represent immigrant children in court, but it’s not enough given the number of children in need. If a child cannot afford a lawyer and is facing arguing their complex asylum claim alone in court [as more than half do, and I’ve personally seen children as young as 7 doing this] our government should step in and help.
Help Children Return Safely to Guatemala
KIND has partnered with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) to help unaccompanied children who are deported to their home countries. Nearly 60,000 unaccompanied children came to the United States in fiscal 2016 and were placed in federal custody. Many of these children were from Guatemala. When these children are deported, the Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Project (GCRRP) provides safe passage and support upon arrival to Guatemala — helping children continue their education, get a job, or providing other assistance — so they don’t turn around and make this horrific journey again.
To donate to help this project: https://www.supportkind.org/kind-in-action/guatemala-return-and-reintegration-project