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ABA launches website to aid unaccompanied immigrant children

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ABA launches website to aid unaccompanied immigrant children

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2014 — The American Bar Association Working Group on Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors has launched the Immigrant Child Advocacy Network, a comprehensive website to provide information and resources for volunteer attorneys, advocates, policymakers who shape immigration policy and journalists who report on immigration issues.

The Working Group was created by ABA President William C. Hubbard in response to the immigration crisis affecting unaccompanied minors and the critical need for additional pro bono lawyers to ensure children are provided legal representation in immigration proceedings.

“The ABA steps up when justice is at stake,” Hubbard said. “We support legal representation for unaccompanied children in the U.S. immigration court system. We are acting not only out of concern for the welfare of these children, but also because all parties benefit when vulnerable children are competently represented by counsel in adversarial proceedings.”

Comprised of a cross-section of lawyers from varying ABA entities, the Working Group’s primary mission is to recruit, train and mentor volunteer attorneys to increase capacity and complement the efforts of existing legal services programs.

The ICAN website, www.ambar.org/ican, is an interactive resource that educates users about the need to enhance access to legal representation for all unaccompanied children.  The website will provide information about the association’s multipronged response to raise public awareness through media and community outreach, legislative advocacy for appointed counsel to children in immigration matters and training for lawyers to take on these immigration cases on a pro bono basis.

In collaboration with Kids in Need of Defense project, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Immigration Advocates Network, the website will aggregate training materials on issues related to representation of children and provide a calendar of ongoing pro bono training opportunities and a listing of legal providers seeking volunteers to assist children.

For more information on the ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors, go to www.ambar.org/ican.   

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