2015 AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Charity Ramsey
Name of Host Organization: Kids in Need of Defense
City, State: Seattle, Washington
Issue area: Immigrant Populations, Children/Youth
Sponsors: AmeriCorps; Department of Justice; Kids in Need of Defense
Charity Ramsey represents unaccompanied minors in immigration court. She assists them in seeking protection from removal, while developing a relationship with the court and working to increase KIND Seattle’s pro bono capacity.
Need Addressed By Project:
Children appearing alone in immigration court have a right to counsel, but no right to appointed counsel. They have to navigate a complex system while facing barriers due to age, language, and past trauma. Children with attorneys are five times more likely to be granted protection from removal.
In the next six months, Charity Ramsey plans to: • Continue working on applications for relief from removal for her existing cases through Asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and other forms of relief. • Continue identifying and accepting eligible children for representation. • Continue recruiting pro bono attorneys and assisting families in finding family law attorneys to assist with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cases. • Continue working with the Washington State Attorney General’s Task Force to identify ways to raise awareness regarding unaccompanied immigrant children and to provide training and volunteer opportunities for pro bono attorneys state wide.
The Right Person For This Project:
Charity Ramsey is the right person for this project because: • She grew up in Argentina, giving her the language skills and cultural capacity to work with a client base that is primarily from Central America. • She is passionate about being a voice for the voiceless because of her experiences studying the effects of genocide and internal displacement on location in East Africa. • She attended law school specifically to become equipped to work on social justice issues with a focus on human trafficking, immigration, and international law.