Kids in Need of Defense Applauds DOJ Creation of Specialized Children’s Dockets in Immigration Courts

December 21, 2023

Washington, D.C.

Today the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) within the Department of Justice released new guidance for children’s immigration proceedings that ensures specialized children’s dockets in each immigration court that will be held separate from adult cases and overseen by dedicated judges. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a leading organization providing legal assistance for unaccompanied children, applauds this measure as a critical step toward strengthening the fairness and efficiency of unaccompanied children’s immigration proceedings.   

In November, KIND supported the introduction of the bipartisan Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act to establish a distinct Children’s Court within EOIR focused on the adjudication of unaccompanied children’s cases. 

In response to the EOIR Director’s Memo, Jason Boyd, KIND’s Senior Director, Policy, released the following statement: 

“We applaud EOIR’s establishment of specialized children’s dockets in immigration courts nationwide. These dockets will help ensure child-appropriate procedures for vulnerable children who face steep barriers to comprehending, in addition to navigating, complex and adversarial immigration proceedings. They will also help streamline the nation’s immigration court system at a time when its backlog recently eclipsed three million cases, while advancing  identification and mitigation of situations of human trafficking and exploitation. At a time when the immigration landscape is particularly divisive, we welcome positive, practical solutions toward meaningful, effective reform, and look forward to supporting this guidance’s optimal implementation. We urge Congress to build upon EOIR’s important progress by passing the Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act.” 

More information about the Immigration Court Efficiency and Children’s Court Act can be found here.   


Media Contact: To speak with Jason Boyd or other KIND experts, please contact Hannah Gavin at or 202-765-4290.