May 12, 2021
KIND’s work with thousands of unaccompanied children has highlighted the myriad challenges confronting children in search of protection and the enduring importance of policies and legal safeguards in the U.S. immigration system to ensure their well-being, best interests, and fair access to protection. Many unaccompanied children have fled grave threats to their lives and safety in their countries of origin, including severe violence, abuse, and human trafficking. The perils facing children have only increased in recent years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, devastating hurricanes in Central America, and policies blocking children and families from requesting protection in the U.S. or expelling them to the very dangers they fled. Additional obstacles abound following a child’s arrival in the U.S., where they must navigate complex immigration proceedings and fight their deportation in order to obtain humanitarian protection, often without the assistance of an attorney.