Children’s Legal Program
Every child deserves the right to seek safety and opportunity.
Despite their young age and the trauma they’ve often endured, immigrant children are not entitled to free legal representation in immigration proceedings. If not for our Children’s Legal Program, thousands of children each year would be forced to navigate the complicated court system alone, denying them the opportunity to seek safety.
AI Justice’s Children’s Legal Program provides free legal services to immigrant children, many of whom have suffered abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Whether these children have been mistreated in their country of origin, during the arduous journey to the United States, or upon arriving in this country, AI Justice staff are committed to helping them navigate the complex pathway to safety and justice. Staff have also played a critical role in shaping laws, informing policy, and educating our nation’s leaders about critical issues impacting immigrant children through Congressional testimony and groundbreaking reports.
AI Justice is the only organization authorized by the federal government to provide legal services to children detained in South Florida shelters and fight their deportation. Our team also serves non-detained immigrant children living in our community with a parent, guardian, or in foster care.
Having an attorney is literally a matter of life and death for many children in immigration proceedings, since 9 out of 10 children without representation are ordered deported to the dangers they fled, while those with attorneys are 5 times more likely to be granted protection. When children have representation and are granted protection, they have the opportunity to thrive that every child deserves. And when these children thrive, our communities thrive.
The Children’s Legal Program is funded in part by The Children’s Trust. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.