Ensuring Due Process & Safety in Court
KIND’s legal staff have filed hundreds of motions with U.S. Immigration and state courts and agencies around the country seeking postponement of hearings during this pandemic to prevent exposure for our clients and staff. Attorneys have continued to represent clients in ongoing telephonic and video hearings, and they have continued to deploy creative and safe strategies to prepare clients’ cases and file essential applications and court filings to secure critical legal protections for the children we serve.
Introducing Vital Technology
We advocated for and conducted Know Your Rights presentations and case intakes to detained children through video-conference rather than in person in New York City, Houston, and Seattle. Our staff has also been working to ensure our clients have access to video technology, including phones and computers, so they can virtually check-in with their attorneys as their immigration cases move forward in the courts as well as be able to access classes online. KIND remains committed to using technology strategies to enhance mobility and knowledge, and to provide our clients with a lifeline to other critical community supports.
Providing Essential Social Services
All across the country our team of social service coordinators have come together (virtually!) to help our clients and their families with a broad range of requests for assistance. Housing and food insecurity top of the list as our clients and their families are overwhelmingly low-income and struggling to survive in a devastated economy. We are also working to help our clients with their increased medical and mental health care needs as Black and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The team has organized virtual therapeutic art workshops and resource fairs across the country. They have also been engaged in virtual outreach events, training and strengthening community partnerships with the goal of leveraging resources. The team explains their work below.
Responding to Urgent Needs in Central America
Our Central American partners in our reintegration program have shifted to remote work due to the risk of COVID-19 and restrictions on movement that have been imposed in the Northern Triangle countries. To respond to urgent needs in the communities in which they work, they have created indigenous language radio announcements providing information about prevention of COVID-19, mindfulness and stress reduction, and intra-familial violence prevention. Partners are also engaging in telephonic wellness checks and psychosocial support, as well as providing emergency food assistance to families.
KIND partnered with Artolution to provide a virtual space for our clients to express their creativity and have fun. In one of the workshops, KIND clients worked for several weeks to design and create a stop-motion movie using their own stories and characters. We also worked with Imagination Stage to teach KIND clients about video storytelling and how to share their stories through art and video.