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Ashley LaRiccia

2014, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Ashley LaRiccia

Ashley LaRiccia

Name of Host Organization: Lutheran Services of Georgia
City, State: Atlanta, Georgia
Issue area: Immigrant Populations, Children/Youth
Sponsors: DuPont, McGuire Woods LLP

The Project

Ashley LaRiccia advocated for unaccompanied immigrant children and their families at Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG) by providing legal representation and developing a pro bono network to secure relief from deportation and unite families.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
In 2014, over 50,000 unaccompanied children from Central American were apprehended at the Mexico-USA border. Many of these children are escaping extreme violence in their home countries. There remains an overwhelming need for low-cost and pro bono legal representation for these children who continue to seek refuge and reunite with families by taking the risky journey through the southern border each and every day. Approximately two-thirds of children are unrepresented and without access to counsel. These children are forced to represent themselves in their removal proceedings.
In December of 2014, the Department of State introduced a new in-country refugee processing program, the Central American Minors Family Reunification Program, to help parents with certain types of legal status reunite with children living in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. There is a large demand for this service in the Atlanta area, from parents from all over the region who need the assistance of a designated Refugee Resettlement Agency, like Ashley’s host organization to gain access to the important program.