When and why did you first take a KIND case?
I took on my first KIND case in December 2017 as part of the partnership between DWT and Amazon. Through the guidance and help of KIND and Bet Tzedek, we created an innovative, multicity pro bono project. Case teams of Amazon and DWT attorneys have represented at least 28 unaccompanied minor children in connection with their SIJS and asylum cases. Having the opportunity to meaningfully help a wonderful young woman navigate the complicated arena of family court and immigration court has been extremely rewarding.
What have you learned from this experience or from your KIND client(s)?
The legal landscape relating to SIJS and asylum is constantly changing and is increasingly threatening the futures of many in the United States. Specifically with regard to my client, despite this and the challenging life experiences that she faced in her home country, she has shown incredible strength, hope, and commitment to her future. Her attitude is a reminder to me every day that I am lucky for the opportunity to work with her.
What is the most surprising thing that you’ve learned about the U.S. immigration system?
The speed and drastic nature with which immigration laws change. KIND is a tremendous resource to pro bono attorneys; not only are they incredibly knowledgeable about all of the continuous changes in the law, but they will also help you strategize successful approaches on how to handle these new issues.
What would you tell other attorneys to encourage them to take a KIND case?
You have the skills and opportunity to help change the trajectory of a child’s life. While the subject matter of these cases may be new to you, KIND will support you along the way.
Do you have any advice for attorneys who may be taking their first pro bono case?
Spend the time necessary to get a full understanding of the law and procedural requirements for the entire SIJS process so that you can map out a successful approach to your case from the beginning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!