About Us

The Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants, established by past ABA President William Hubbard, with the approval of the Board of Governors, represents a cross-section of various ABA entities, including the Commission on Immigration, Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Section of Family Law, Section of Litigation, Commission on Youth at Risk, Section of International Law, Business Law Section, and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.

Thank You to - Our Donors

Volunteer to Help a Child

Thousands of children must face immigration judges each year without appointed counsel. With representation, asylum seekers have a five times greater chance of winning their case. Funded by the Vera Institute of Justice, Pro Bono Matters for Children Facing Deportation allows lawyers to search and share available pro bono cases for unaccompanied children (UC) detained by the federal government or released to live with family members while in deportation proceedings.

Volunteer - Now

Standards for the Custody, Placement and Care; Legal Representation; and Adjudication of Unaccompanied Alien Children in the United States

The Standards are rules of general applicability that should guide the treatment of any Unaccompanied Child in the United States in all respects.

Read - Now

Spotlight: Volunteer Opportunity

The Project Corazon - Matamoros Remote I-589 Project is modeled on traditional one-time know your rights and pro se assistance clinics. The key difference is that pro bono attorneys, law students, and legal workers can assist without travelling, in time periods that are shorter and more manageable, and with the use of reliable and efficient technology. For purposes of this project, you will not be representing the individuals but rather helping them prepare a I-589 so they can file it pro se.

Learn - More

ABA KIND National Training on Representation and Advocacy for Unaccompanied Children

The 2019 ABA KIND National Training on Representation and Advocacy for Unaccompanied Children was held in Houston, TX in December 2019.

Remarks by Author and Journalist Lauren Markham

Other Webinars & Resources

ABA Resources and Partners

Recognizing and Responding to Secondary Trauma (ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants Webinar August 24, 2017)

Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division: Kids In Need of Defense Materials

Summary of Video Presentation: The ABCs of Representing Unaccompanied Children in Removal Proceedings (ABA October 1, 2014)

The ABCs of Representing Unaccompanied Children in Removal Proceedings (ABA Commission on Immigration)

Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Alone in the Courts (Section of Litigation audio file)


A New Legal Framework for Children Seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (Richmond Public Interest Law Review Volume 20 Issue 1 by Dalia Castillo-Granados and Yasmin Yavar)

A Practice Advisory on Strategies to Combat Government Efforts to Terminate Unaccompanied Children Determinations (May 2017)  (Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) Defending Vulnerable Populations Project)

Administrative Relief Resource Center (The Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation)

Apprehended Minors' Right to Government Funded Lawyers
This practice advisory discusses recent developments regarding the representation of minors in immigration proceedings. Although there remains no generally recognized right to counsel at Government expense for immigrant children, there have been litigation and advocacy developments.  

Bond Hearings for Detained Unaccompanied Minors
This practice advisory discusses developments and strategies in hearings seeking the release of minors. The Flores v. Sessions certified class action, discussed in detail below, remains pending and active in the US District Court for the Central District of California. The Flores case sets out the standards for the detention of accompanied and unaccompanied minors, and includes a presumption of release to available parents, relatives, friends of parents and non-secure licensed shelters.

Childhood Cut Short: Sexual and Gender-based Violence Against Central American Migrant and Refugee Children (Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) June 2017)

Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors (Appleseed 2011)

Children's Asylum Guidelines from the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

Court win for immigrant-rights attorneys 4/13/2015

Family Preparedness Plan (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)

Getting Off the Assembly Line:  Overcoming Immigration Court Obstacles in Individual Cases (Appleseed/Akin Gump 2016)

Immigration Advocates Network

Immigrant Legal Resource Center: Unacommpanied Immigrant Children Resources

Immigrant Legal Resource Center:  Unaccompanied Minors & The New Executive Orders

Justice for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: An Advocacy Best Practices Manual for Legal Service Providers  - April 2016 (National Immigrant Justice Center)

Navocado: Pilot Immigration Navigator for Pro Bono Attorneys Representing Unaccompanied Children, Stanford Law School and d.school, Legal Design Lab

Perez-Olano Stipulated Order

Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation (Appleseed 2017)

Representing Immigrant Children: Back to the Beginning by Christina Wilkes and Rachel Zoghlin (August 11, 2016 MSBA Maryland State Bar Association Bar Bulletin)

Salvadoran applicant for asylum granted relief by an immigration judge in an unpublished decision based on his family being targeted by the MS- 13

Technology Needs Among Immigrant Rights and Immigration Legal Services Organizations: A Survey of the Field, Immigration Advocates Network, August 2016

Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview by William A. Kandel (Congressional Research Service, May 11, 2016)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

National Unaccompanied Children Resource Center


ICON Project

The Vera Institute of Justice partnering with New America has launched the Immigrant Connection Project (ICON) to address the separation of families at the border.

Attorneys or parents seeking children should email familyconnect@vera.org or familiasunidas@vera.org or call 800-845-8372. More information about this project is available at https://www.vera.org/projects/immigrant-connection-project