Photo of Elizabeth Lincoln

Elizabeth Lincoln

  • Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
  • Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, The Sidley Austin Foundation
  • Service location Fresno, California
  • Law school University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Elizabeth provided direct representation to unaccompanied immigrant children in the Central Valley of California, coordinated social services, and worked with school districts to conduct Know Your Rights outreach.

This project aimed to address the gap in representation of unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in the Central Valley, a region in which there is limited access to pro bono legal assistance and social services. KIND is the primary nonprofit legal service provider in the Central Valley specializing in legal representation of unaccompanied children. This project increased KIND’s capacity to represent more children. This project also leveraged local community organizations to connect unaccompanied children with needed social services, specifically focusing on schools and Know Your Rights (KYR) education.

Fellowship Highlights

During her two-year Fellowship, Elizabeth:

  • Represented 31 clients, all of whom are unaccompanied children living in the Central Valley, and pursued various forms of immigration relief such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), U-visas for victims of crime, and T-visas for victims of human trafficking
  • Obtained seven state court predicate orders for clients pursuing SIJS, and raised creative and successful arguments to state court judges in four counties’ probate and family courts
  • Successfully represented a child in a Motion to Reopen, resulting in the rescinding of a removal order
  • Worked with local partners to promote and execute Saturday outreach events for the local community where we provide immigration consultations and KYR education
  • Assisted with KIND resource fairs in Modesto and Mendota, including conducting a KYR presentation during the Mendota resource fair geared towards unaccompanied children and their sponsors
  • Collaborated with legal and social services providers throughout the Central Valley to build removal defense capacity and advocate for representation of children in immigration court
  • Conducted Pro Bono trainings with Sidley Austin in Palo Alto and GitHub in San Francisco

Next Steps

Following the Fellowship, Elizabeth has remained at KIND’s Fresno Satellite Office as a staff attorney, where she continues to represent unaccompanied children in the Central Valley of California.

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Sponsor: AmeriCorps, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, U.S. Department of Justice