Funding will provide legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children
Washington, DC—September 12, 2014—Today at the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary celebration at the White House, President Obama announced the launch of justice AmeriCorps, which will provide $2 million in funding to “increase national service while facilitating the effective and efficient adjudication of immigration proceedings involving certain children who have crossed the border without a parent or legal guardian.” This program is a strategic partnership between The Corporation for National and Community Service, which operates the AmeriCorps national service program, and the Department of Justice through its Executive Office for Immigration Review.
Equal Justice Works, in partnership with Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), will receive $1.2 million—more than half of the total funding—to deploy 55 full-time Members (45 lawyers and 10 paralegals) to provide legal representation to unaccompanied children, build pro bono capacity to support that population, and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of immigration courts in the locations in which members will serve.
“As AmeriCorps celebrates its 20th anniversary we are thrilled to partner with them on yet another innovative program that will provide critical representation to unaccompanied immigrant children who are not guaranteed legal assistance in court and, as a result, most of whom are unrepresented,” said David Stern, Executive Director of Equal Justice Works.
The need for legal representation far exceeds the number of available lawyers, and attorneys have a substantial impact on case outcomes. In one study, immigrants with legal representation had a successful outcome 74% of the time, while those without representation had a successful outcome only 13% of the time.
Locations where Members will serve:
- El Paso
- New York
- San Antonio
- Washington, DC
Equal Justice Works is the national leader in creating public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers. Collaborating with the nation’s leading law schools, law firms, corporate legal departments and nonprofit organizations, Equal Justice Works offers a continuum of opportunities that provide the training and skills that enable attorneys to provide effective representation to underserved communities and causes. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
To learn more about Equal Justice Works, please visit www.equaljusticeworks.org.