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October 03, 2014

The ABCs of Representing Unaccompanied Children in Removal Proceedings

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Washington, DC

Introduction to the Surge of Unaccompanied Children Entering the Southwest Border in 2014

This session will introduce the topic of unaccompanied children entering the United States during the spring and summer months of 2014 and immediately being placed into removal proceedings. The presentation addresses topics such as: are who are these children, where do they come from, why are they coming and what are the economic and social conditions in their countries of origin.

Watch video (15 minutes)

Speaker: Meredith Linsky, American Bar Association

Best Practices for Working with Unaccompanied Children

This session covers tips in working with child clients including how to establish trust and facilitate disclosure of personal experiences. The presentation also addresses issues confronting immigrant clients including cultural and linguistic barriers and how to best use an interpreter. Finally, the session provides suggestions in working with trauma survivors to help facilitate optimal rapport and build trust in the attorney-client relationship.

Watch video (20 minutes)

Speaker: Laura Nally, Kids In Need of Defense

Basics of Immigration Law and Removal Proceedings

This session covers basic concepts regarding practice in immigration court beginning with the different governmental agencies involved in immigration court removal proceedings and immigration enforcement efforts. The presentation focuses on procedural issues including the various types of removal proceedings, specific types of hearings, entry of attorney appearance, how to review the court file, and responding to allegations and charges in the Notice to Appear. Finally, the session ends with an explanation of the most common forms of legal relief and the burden of proof for each remedy.

Watch video (41 minutes)

Speaker: Karen T. Grisez, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

This session covers basic information about Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.  It includes basic eligibility criteria, how to identify abuse, abandonment and neglect, relevant procedures for obtaining predicate orders in Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland, and how and where to file the appropriate applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The session includes general information as well as specific procedural information on filing guardianship petitions and custody orders in the DC/Virginia/Maryland area.

Watch video (44 minutes)

Speaker: Laura Nally, Kids In Need of Defense

Asylum Law and Initial Jurisdiction Issues for Unaccompanied Children’s Cases

This session focuses on the basic requirements to qualify for asylum, withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture relief.  It explains the eligibility requirements for asylum including demonstrating  either past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution, the five protected grounds and the respondent’s burden of proof.  The presentation focuses on specific issues related to children’s claims and highlights some of the most common claims from children including gang-based cases and cases related to family violence.  The session also covers special procedures available to unaccompanied children and covers issues of credibility and corroboration.

Watch video (33 minutes)

Speaker: Karen T. Grisez, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

U and T Visas: Resources for Crime Victims

This session focuses on legal relief available to crime victims in the form of U and T visas.  It includes information on eligibility requirements for both visa categories and procedural instructions on how to file the applications with USCIS.  The presentation includes a list of additional resources through both governmental and non-governmental sources to support your representation efforts. 

Watch video (28 minutes)

Speaker: Tanisha L. Bowens-McCatty, American Bar Association

Immigrant Child Advocacy Network (ICAN)

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

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

For more information, please see the following:

  1. Representing Unaccompanied Children: Training Manual for KIND Pro Bono Attorneys

  2. KIND Initiative
    ABA GPSolo