Our Stories

Tell President Obama to Help Children Escaping Violence

Each year our government initiates immigration proceedings against thousands of children -- some as young as 5 or 6 years old. They are fleeing horrific violence in countries overrun by gangs and crime. The majority of these children have no attorney, making it impossible for them to avoid deportation.

On July 9, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who have to stand alone in court without a lawyer. Click here to read more about J.E.F.M. v Holder.

Many of these children are fleeing for their lives from gang violence and horrific abuse. They are young people like our client Henry from Guatemala, who was kidnapped as a teenager and sold to traffickers who brought him to the U.S. against his will. Henry was detained at the border and went into court alone, where he could not understand what was happening because he spoke only an indigenous language.

"They are lost here, not knowing what is going on and know nothing of immigration law," Henry said recently. Henry obtained permanent residency with Public Counsel’s help and is now on a path to citizenship. Click here to read about Henry's story in the Daily Beast article "The Immigrant Kids Suing America."

Pro bono efforts alone will not ensure fairness for all children who need representation. We have joined with our co-counsel at the ACLU and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to urge President Obama to provide children with the full protections of U.S. and international law.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Click here to send a message to President Obama at the website of the ACLU.

Together, we can create a more just system for children who are fleeing for their lives from gang violence and horrific abuse. President Obama has the power to require legal counsel for all children in deportation hearings.

Thousands of children are stuck in a legal limbo, seeking safety, but without a lawyer in their corner. The stakes are too high to let children go it alone.