Humanitarian Crisis at the Southwest Border
The nation has recently shifted its attention to the Southwest border, where tens of thousands of adults, families and children have entered the United States seeking safety, protection, family reunification and economic opportunity. Between October 2013 and July 2014, 57,000 children have been processed by Customs and Border Protection at the Southwest border. This is more than double the number of children apprehended in FY 2013. ProBAR steps in soon after the children are transferred from CBP to shelters run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The children served by ProBAR’s Children’s Project are among the most vulnerable individuals in need of legal representation in the U.S. today. They are separated from family and detained in remote facilities where they will eventually face removal proceedings in immigration court. They range in age from newborns to 17 year olds. Most do not speak English and have limited education. Many are victims of violence in their homes, their communities, or during their journey to the United States. To learn more about this crisis, see the following ABA statement entitled “A Humanitarian Call to Action: Unaccompanied Children at the Southwest Border.”
Why Your Help Is Critical
Many of the children we serve are eligible for protection under U.S. law, including the Special Immigrant Juvenile visa, U-visa, T-visa, or asylum. However, due to their youth, language barriers, and the complexity of U.S. immigration law and procedure, these children face insurmountable obstacles to proving their claims for that protection before an immigration judge or asylum officer on their own. In addition, the children we serve typically do not have financial or other means to obtain private representation. Representation is needed now for children mostly after they reunify with family and other sponsors throughout the United States.