I'm currently starting my second term on KIND's DEIB committee, and I've enjoyed seeing the work of the committee change and evolve as new members come on board and introduce new ideas and perspectives. It's been an honor to work with such an energetic and dedicated group of colleagues, and I've had the opportunity to get to know people across departments and identify common goals and priorities. I'm glad that KIND has made the space for this critical work, and I'm excited to see what the committee and the organization more broadly accomplish moving forward!

Rachel Dotson (she/her)

Senior Director for Latin America
photo of Tamara Kissoon

As a First-Generation immigrant and college graduate, being part of the DEIB Committee at KIND means I can show up to work as my full self. Along with my personal, professional, and academic experiences I am able to take an active role in promoting an anti-racist, culturally competent, and inclusive environment that values DEIB in my office and beyond!

Tamara Kissoon (she/her)

Social Services Coordinator

Being part of the DEIB Committee at KIND is often a commitment to actively contribute to the ongoing process of building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. It involves taking proactive steps to address challenges, promote understanding, and create positive change within the organization. KIND’s DEIB committee is very proactive in creating a safe space to work, the commitment is real and furthermore promotes a community that values diversity, promotes equity, and ensures inclusion for all members.

Yvonne Casta (she/her)


There are procedural rules in the immigration court that are difficult to navigate for an attorney. I cannot imagine how a child proceeding without an attorney could be successful in the courts. The Children's Court Act proposal to require the court to coordinate with legal services providers could greatly increase the participation of pro bono attorneys. I can attest that KIND and similar groups do a tremendous job of helping pro bono attorneys represent clients in Immigration Court, by conducting initial client screenings, providing outreach and training to law firms, and otherwise facilitating attorney representations.

John Todaro, Executive Director, IP Group – Office of General Counsel, Merck

Working with KIND opened my eyes to the realities that drive many children and women to flee the homes and countries they love to enter the USA because of the rampant abuse, neglect, violence, and threats. I also quickly realized that there is no meaningful way for an unrepresented minor to navigate the Byzantine immigration system, much less someone who did not speak English. Many children must not only navigate immigration court but also state family court, a different, but also complex, system.

Stan Perry, Partner, ReedSmith LLP

I have personally witnessed tender-aged children who are not even old enough to speak appear in court before an immigration judge. Although many judges try their best to help these children navigate the system and pursue legal relief to potentially prevent them from being deported, even the best-case scenario imposes a heavy (and avoidable!) burden on the court and, in turn, on U.S. taxpayers.

Martin, Staff Attorney, New York City

Headshot of Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez

“In debates on how to secure the border, it has become lost that all children, regardless of their status and how they arrived here in the United States, are worthy of protection. Their well-being and safety should not be part of a partisan debate.”

Judge Ramona A. Gonzalez

Op-Ed from Newsweek May 5, 2023

I am privileged to work with an amazing group of people who are deeply committed to the success of every child we serve. Their perseverance, talent, and generosity (and wicked sense of humor!) inspires me. The organization is constantly exploring ways to improve the lives of the most vulnerable immigrants, children. I have been involved in this work for a long time and I really appreciate being part of an organization takes the time to consistently reflect on its focus and expands and adapts to the urgent needs of our clients as needed.

Vanessa Lucas, Esq.

Managing Attorney

As a Regional Director for the Legal Programs Team I supervise six of KIND’s managing attorneys. I assist them with all aspects of field office management including programmatic support, organizational development, performance, casework, growth leadership, metrics tracking, funding, budgets and communication. Supporting and working in partnership with KIND’s managing attorneys is one of the highlights of my role as Regional Director!

Priya Konings, Esq.

Regional Director for Legal Services, South

It is hard to distinguish one particular achievement as there have been so many fulfilling experiences over the last five and a half years. In 2018, I was also able to work with pro bono attorneys in New York who were assisting a group of the separated children to prevent their immediate removal. Seeing their dedication and being able to play a small role towards resolution of the children’s cases was an honor. The following year I received a voice message from one of the little girls who had been separated from her mother at the border. She said, “Thank you for helping me be with my mother again.” Despite the harrowing circumstances that brought me to work with that family, it is messages like those that remind me why I do this work.

Alexandra Peredo Carroll

Deputy Director, Planning and Performance

I love the fact that I get to work every day with people who want to bring good into the world. I know that even in the darkest days, I will have a reason to smile and joke around because of the camaraderie and inherently good nature of the people around me. I also look forward to the opportunity to work on challenging legal issues, as immigration policies continue to change with time. Our work is not easy, so having the right environment is crucial. I’m so grateful to get to work with my KIND colleagues. They really are the main reason I have stayed all this time.

Salma F. Hasan, Esq.

Supervising Attorney

The impact that we have on these children’s lives is tremendous. There is never a “right” time to take on pro bono work, especially as an attorney at a big law firm, but my KIND cases have been the most rewarding in my seven years of practicing law. I will never forget my client’s excitement and relief after obtaining custody and SIJS orders from the D.C. Superior Court, and, more recently, after receiving his green card in the mail. It’s moments like these that prompted me to become an attorney in the first place.

Lucille “Lucy” Bartholomew

Covington & Burling LLP

As we know, art is something that you create and visualize with your mind and create by hand. It’s not only that – it allows you to enter into a different world where you don’t know what’s going on around you because you have your mind focused on your art, trying to give it your own style, your own flow, yourself. Once you finish it, you have the satisfaction of looking at what you did with just your mind and hands. Art is much more than what we can see.

KIND Client

The best part during the classes was when I met each of the students.

KIND Client

I never had an interest in art, on October 5th my opinion and thoughts about art started to change. The Arts Corps and KIND arts classes were really great and helpful.

KIND Client

I strongly encourage people to take a KIND case. The most core litigation skill people need is interviewing. KIND has so many resources available that the legal side of things is well traversed. You can do this; you have the time do this, and you will change your client’s life.

Sarah Maguire

BAE Systems

Juan* and Roberto* are teenage brothers who fled Honduras on their own, seeking safety and hoping to reunite with their father in Texas. At the border, instead of being given access to the process and procedures required for unaccompanied children by law, Juan and Roberto were held in a hotel in an unknown location for several days with no access to medical care or an attorney. Finally, a KIND attorney was able to intervene and halt their expulsion to Honduras. The two brothers were moved from the hotel to a licensed shelter for children and soon after released to their father. They are now seeking asylum in the United States.

Alejandro* fled gang violence in El Salvador and came to the United States seeking protection but when he reached the U.S.-Mexico border he was turned back by U.S. officials and expelled into Mexico under the CDC order. Alone and without access to assistance in Mexico, KIND helped ensure that he was not expelled again when he returned to the U.S border to seek safety and was instead processed according to the standard procedures afforded to unaccompanied minors. KIND is continuing to help Alejandro by ensuring he has legal representation for his immigration proceedings.

In 2019, KIND helped a 4-year-old child in critical medical condition reunite with her mother in the United States, where she received life-saving medical care. Our Houston staff continues to work with the child and her mother to ensure that they receive the legal assistance and social services they need.

In October 2018, musical artists from across Southern California joined together to organize a benefit concert called MUSIC HUGS (Musicians United in Support of Immigrant Children Held Under Unlawful Government Separation). Together, these creative individuals used their talents to raise over $20,000 for KIND’s programs – and to make a difference.

Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” aired a holiday special on TBS, with proceeds benefiting KIND’s Family Separation Response Team. Thanks to Samantha and the thousands of donors who watched her show, KIND received over $300,000 in donations for our work in representing children who were separated from their parents at the border.

Some of our mightiest supporters in 2018 were our youngest. From neighborhood friends who set up lemonade stands on their street corner, to children who donated their monthly allowance, or sold their hand-made origami creations, the thoughtfulness of these youngsters helping their peers in need touched us all.

Erik Mathy, a photographer and cyclist based in the Bay Area, biked over 1,200 miles on the historic Butterfield Overland Mail Route fundraising for KIND. Eric conducted interviews and took portraits of people along his journey who were impacted by the drastic shifts in this border route over time. Erik has raised over $4,000 for KIND and will soon have an Adobe documentary published about him and his journey!

In New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC, hundreds of supporters attended This is America fundraisers on the 4th of July, raising over $15,000 to protect migrant children while they reminded the world that the United States stands for diversity, inclusion, and opportunity.

There should be more laws that protect immigrants, because we also have rights and it is not fair that they treat us like animals.

17-year-old girl from El Salvador

The immigrant officers don’t care if we can communicate with our families. They don’t care if you call, eat, sleep, are sick, they don’t care about anything.

15-year-old boy, Honduras

Most of the people who are suffering are adolescents; they are the most wanted to be killed. That is why a lot of people from where I live have gone

16-year-old boy, El Salvador

Because these children deserve a voice.

"D.", donor from California

Because no one would be fleeing their homes, leaving everything they know behind if their lives didn’t depend on it, and they deserve a chance for a better life.

"A.", donor from Illinois

I donated because my grandparents immigrated to this country seeking a better life.

"J.", donor from New Jersey

I have a toddler and I cannot imagine the trauma if my little one was separated from me and detained without her parents. I am donating because no child should suffer like this.

"J.", donor from California

Even if you feel overwhelmed by an atmosphere of hate in America, I hope you always remember that here are countless people thinking about you every day, admiring your resilience and hoping for your speedy and successful transition into this country we call home.

“A”, donor from Washington State

At the beginning [of the performance], I felt nervous. I was afraid, insecure, with sorrow. But the people from Artolution were amazing. They told us to take the microphone and imagine that we were speaking alone, by ourselves. When I took the mic, I felt some sorrow but I did what they told us and it helped me. After I felt happy. I was able to get to know the public and also give a piece of our experience, or how we came here the journey. It was beautiful.


[I learned about] speaking in public and letting go of fear. I felt like I was giving a part of my experience, like I was able to give some motivation to other kids like me. It was beautiful. At the beginning I felt a little, well, intimidated. But at the same time liberated. Everyone in the world goes through things, but I had the chance to share my story.


My favorite part was painting the wall because we got to play with the paint and share ideas about how to show our characters. It was fun because we didn’t just make a character up but we also got to give it a back story. I don’t normally perform so I was nervous, but people were very supportive, which boosted my confidence a lot.


It was a very beautiful experience, learning new things, about art, and for me it was also like therapy.


It felt incredible [to express my story] because I never had done that before. I got lost in myself and was able to show people what I was capable of. [The project] really helps in a lot of things. It’s like a way to help people who have anxiety and depression to express themselves while doing something they like. It’s a moment to enjoy your dream.


There is a reason why all these children are fleeing their countries to come to the United States and personally think that reason is hope

Ryan Richman

Associate at McCarter & English LLP

I haven’t seen my son in over two months – I don’t want anything from the United States other than my son.

Father Separated by 9-Year-Old Son

Taking my daughter away from me is not just – it is cruel. I didn’t think the United States could be so cruel.

Mother from Guatemala

Brianna was separated from her 7-year-old son Brian, who suffers from a mental disability, shortly after entering the U.S. in early June. Brianna fled an abusive partner in Honduras. Brianna was told she would see her son in a few days. This did not happen however. Briana was released in early July. ICE did not release Brian immediately Brianna, but three volunteer law firm attorneys helped get Brian back. They were re-united in mid-July. Briana said that Brian was very happy to see her and that he immediately recognized her as his mother.

Luisa, 7 years old, was separated from her father upon entering the U.S. in late June. Luisa’s mother entered a day later with Luisa’s 10-year-old brother. KIND met Luisa in a detention facility. Both times KIND met with Luisa, she spent most of the time crying inconsolably. Luisa was not able to articulate why her family came to the U.S. Luisa’s mother passed a credible fear interview and was released with Luisa’s brother. Luisa has been extremely traumatized from the separation and will likely be in a very delicate when she is released to her mother. As of September 24, she had still not been released.

Genesis, a 5-year old girl from Honduras, was separated from her mother, Lilian, for about two months, including a 15-20 day period during which Lilian had no idea where Genesis was being held. Lilian was released on bond following a positive credible fear interview and reunited with Genesis. Genesis and Lilian are receiving counseling services to address with the trauma of separation. Lilian and Genesis are applying for asylum based on gang attacks and threats of murder.

These kids have nothing else — they don’t have any safety net — we are that safety net…As a lawyer it was an extremely rewarding experience to know that you have a direct impact on helping someone, on changing and molding that person’s life’s story. It really doesn’t get any more rewarding than that.

Buck Dixon

Troutman Sanders LLP

While the family and Layla won this asylum case because of their ability to tell their story, without attorneys, they wouldn’t have known the stories to tell and the importance of the experiences they had, I don’t think she would have had a shot without an attorney.

Elaine Blais

Goodwin Procter LLP

Helping the clients in these cases, the children themselves, is really what I am passionate about. These kids are caught in the crossfire of this very dangerous and daunting situation in their home countries and the political strife around immigration in this country. But these are just two young girls who are trying to have a safe childhood with a loving family member, just like any other kids would.

Kira Hettinger

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

We all have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Kurt Hansson

Global Vice-Chairman of Paul Hastings LLP

I am happy to say that two months ago, my asylum was approved. Today, I feel happy because there is a certainty that I am safe.


KIND Client

The journey was not easy, but it has been amazing to get to know new people, myself, and the ability I did not know I have to overcome my fears and challenges.


KIND Client

If we don’t tell our story, someone else will tell it for us and it won’t be true.


Voices Participant

Thanks to KIND I can say this for myself, because of KIND I am able to believe in me, to strive for more, to engage in new things, and to dream again.


KIND Client

No hay seguridad, no hay buena relación entre policía y jovenes. No hay salud. No hay empleo. La policía hace mentiras, son corruptos. There is no security, there is no good relationship between police and youth. There is no health. There are no jobs. The police lie, they are corrupt.



Los mareros las enamoran. Se van de casa. Las utilizan para ganancia. Las prostituyen o hace lo que quieren con ellas. The gang members seduce them. They leave home. They use them for profit. They prostitute them or do what they want with them.

Young Girl


Asylum seekers feel unsafe and vulnerable to the many forms of violence happening in Mexican border towns, some of which has been targeted directly to migrants.  They are at risk of being targeted by drug cartels, gangs, and even Mexican police or immigration officers who may extort them for money.

KIND Staff Member


I can tell a woman that she should report domestic violence, but she will ask me, ‘Who will support me, who will protect me?’ and I can’t answer those questions


Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Most of the people who are suffering are adolescents; they are the most wanted to be killed. That is why a lot of people from where I live have gone.

16-Year-Old Boy

El Salvador

This case reinforces for me the great privilege it is to represent these extraordinary young people. They give me far more than I could ever give them.

Charles Rysavy

K&L Gates

For me it was the draw of doing pro bono work at large but also this human rights issue. They have nowhere to go and they are forced to leave their homeland alone and to come here – without someone to represent them they could very easily be sent back.

Mary Bortscheller

Associate, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

What resonates most for me is the fact that without KIND, more children would be forced to face our legal system alone and without representation. This should be, and for many of us is, simply unacceptable in our society today. We all have a responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Kurt Hansson, Paul Hastings

Global Vice Chairman, Litigation, Paul Hastings, and KIND Board Member

I wasn’t safe in my country, that’s why I left. I was trying to save my life.


Central America

They took me somewhere after I was separated; I remember adults and children were held together, but I only had me. I did not have anyone else" "I feel sad all the time. I don't have anyone to talk to when I feel like this. I just want to go home.

10-year-old detained child

I didn't know my son was in the hospital. I have not talked to him since they took him from me a few months ago

Detained father separated from his 2-year-old son

My child just cries when I talk to him. He's mad at me and doesn't want to talk. There's nothing I can do to make him feel better.

Mother in Guatemala

They called to tell me she was coming back the next day, but I didn't know where to go. When I got to the airport, the flight was late, but no one told me. I didn't know where she was for more than six hours. She is only 18 months old.

Father in Honduras

As his legal case progressed, Carlos (8) had to recount traumatic experiences from his home country to make his case for U.S. protection and began to experience developmental regression—wetting his bed, social withdrawal, and communications challenges. His pro bono attorney and social services coordinator connected him to therapeutic support, an out-of-school program, and a referral for his mother for parenting and family therapy support. He has been making good progress, and continues to be a devoted soccer fan.

KIND Staff Member


Freddy, a 17-year-old Honduran boy, faced spending the entirety of the process in U.S. custody. His pro bono attorney and social services coordinator, through the partnerships she had established, were able to connect him to a program that would provide Freddy with a host with whom he could stay until his case was decided. Freddy is happily adjusting to his new home.

KIND Staff Member


A KIND client who came to the U.S. alone to seek safety from gang threats. KIND’s social services coordinator worked with her to connect her with food, clothing, medical services, baby supplies, and domestic violence resources and shelters. Now she's able to navigate systems on her own and is more self-sufficient.

KIND Staff Member


KIND’s social service coordinators often help our clients see beyond their past and immediate struggles and to push towards new opportunities and fresh starts. For Luisa, this meant viewing her history of sexual abuse as a reason to seek healing through therapy services, joining boxing classes to feel stronger and empowered, and pushing forward to completing high school.

KIND Staff Member

New York