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April 08, 2021 RAPID RESPONSE

Unaccompanied Children at the Border: Get the Facts from the Experts

Major news outlets are reporting daily on the “humanitarian challenge” posed by a recent influx of unaccompanied children at the border. This influx comes after over 10,000 children were expelled from the border region under the prior administration. It makes sense that, after a period of the border being closed to both children and adults, the number of arrivals would increase once children were again permitted to enter according to our nation’s laws. In this webinar, you hear from experts discussing who these children are, why they are coming now, and how the U.S. government is receiving them. The current conditions are not unprecedented, and through our work during influxes in 2014 and 2019, our experts discuss how to respond in a fair, efficient and humane manner. While the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for safety precautions adds new complications, some things remain the same. All of these children will be placed in removal proceedings and be required to present their cases to an immigration judge. They will need to find counsel as they are not ensured government-appointed counsel, and we know that about half of unaccompanied children currently in removal proceedings are unrepresented. We discuss not only what is happening now, but how our nation should respond, today and in the years to come.


  • Dalia Castillo-Granados – Director, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA)
  • Mark Greenberg – Senior Fellow and Director, Human Services Initiative, Migration Policy Institute; Member, ABA Commission on Immigration
  • Michelle L. Saenz-Rodriguez – Co-Founder and Senior Attorney, Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates, P.C.; Member, Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Carly Salazar – Legal Director, ABA South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)


Joint Sponsor: ABA Commission on Immigration


Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by State and County, FY 2014-Present | Migration Policy Institute

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ABA Children's Immigration Law Academy Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Children at the Border

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