Kids in Need of Defense [KIND]

KIND is a nonprofit organization that was started in 2008 by Microsoft and Angelina Jolie to recruit pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied immigrant children in US immigration courts. So far, the organization has recruited more than 14,000 lawyers nationwide willing to take a child’s case for free. Despite this, half of these children are going to immigration court with no legal advocate by their side. They are being asked to argue complex asylum cases with no help. Among children who have legal representation, 7 in 10 win their cases [and 9 in 10 with KIND lawyers]. Among children with no legal representation, 9 in 10 lose their cases.

Many of these children are fleeing persecution from gangs, abuse or violence. Some are left abandoned by parents and are forced to fend for themselves. Children who are apprehended by US Border Patrol are not entitled to a public defender or advocate to help them make their case to an immigration judge before being deported–sometimes to harm or death in their home countries. KIND is working to ensure that no child faces going to court alone. Sonia Nazario is on the board of KIND.

Read about KIND:

To support KIND: https://www.supportkind.org/en/get-involved

Fusion TV segment on KIND http://fusion.net/America_with_Jorge_Ramos/video/children-left-defenseless-immigration-courts-322199

Migrant Children Deserve a Voice in Court NYT article

Groups like @supportKIND, of which I am proudly a board member, have recruited more than 14,000 pro bono attorneys since 2008 to represent immigrant children in court, but it’s not enough given the number of children in need. If a child cannot afford a lawyer and is facing arguing their complex asylum claim alone in court [as more than half do, and I’ve personally seen children as young as 7 doing this] our government should step in and help.

Help Children Return Safely to Guatemala

KIND has partnered with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) to help unaccompanied children who are deported to their home countries. Nearly 60,000 unaccompanied children came to the United States in fiscal 2016 and were placed in federal custody. Many of these children were from Guatemala. When these children are deported, the Guatemalan Child Return and Reintegration Project (GCRRP) provides safe passage and support upon arrival to Guatemala — helping children continue their education, get a job, or providing other assistance — so they don’t turn around and make this horrific journey again.

To donate to help this project: https://www.supportkind.org/kind-in-action/guatemala-return-and-reintegration-project

Updates

Sonia Nazario’s latest opinion piece was featured in the LA Times on April 23, 2017. Sonia walks readers through the investments the U.S. can and should make not only to reduce unlawful migration, but get at the heart of why most people are now coming to the U.S. illegally. Drawing from her time researching and bearing witness to the atrocities, as well as those people and programs making progress in counteracting violence, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Sonia shares her convictions as to how to best help, not only the citizens of this region, but the U.S.'s best interests.

Donate to Sonia's Go Fund Me Campaign
The only way to really slow the flow of migrants coming to the U.S. unlawfully from Central America is to help fix what's pushing them out of the most violent countries on earth. Finally, the U.S. is doing something right in Central America--helping to fund efforts to reduce violence. Pastor Daniel Pacheco is leading the effort to cut violence in one of the worst neighborhoods in Honduras. He puts himself in the line of fire to help bring peace to his neighborhood. He needs our help. If you were moved by the story of Pastor Daniel Pacheco that was featured in my NY Times piece on August 14, 2016, please donate whatever you can HERE : https://www.gofundme.com/2hfvbuk

Book Sonia To Speak

Sonia Nazario speaks at universities, conferences, high schools, and other events. Email her at: sonia.l.nazario@gmail.com.