Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project’s Unaccompanied Children (UC) Team represents approximately 200 children who have come without parents to the United States, often after fleeing extreme violence. These children frequently experience additional violence on their journey to the U.S. border and while detained by U.S. immigration authorities. Many have been separated from family members through the migration process, and many have lost a parent to violence. These children have spent weeks or months in U.S. government shelters before being released to a family member in the Los Angeles area.
We defend these children from deportation and represent the children in immigration court, juvenile court and before the USCIS Asylum Office. We also empower the children we serve by assessing their non-legal needs and helping them access essential services, including education and health care. The vast majority are eligible for and secure asylum or special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS), and ultimately become permanent residents.