October 18, 2023
KIND has submitted the statement for the record in preparation for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Security hearing titled, “Preserving Due Process and the Rule of Law: Examining the Status of Our Nation’s Immigration Courts.”
Guaranteeing legal representation for unaccompanied children is essential to achieving due process and well-functioning immigration courts.
KIND was founded on the belief that no child should be forced to appear in immigration court alone. As our work has expanded across the United States and through the region, we have seen that legal counsel is essential to ensuring due process for unaccompanied children in their immigration proceedings. Indeed, it is virtually impossible for children to navigate protection systems without lawyers to assess their eligibility for humanitarian protection, assist with case preparation, and advocate for them during adversarial hearings. Attorneys have a dramatic impact on children’s cases; recent data show that immigration judges were almost 100 times more likely to grant legal relief to unaccompanied children with counsel than to those without.