Matthew Bedrick

  • Hosted by National Center for Youth Law
  • Sponsored by Cooley LLP
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Issue area Education/Special Education, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Matthew will ensure that immigrant children in federal detention receive the education services to which they are entitled and that recently released immigrant children receive the services they need to succeed in public schools.

Currently, there are over 10,000 immigrant children in federal detention. The Flores settlement agreement entitles these children to: “[e]ducational services appropriate to the minor’s level of development,” including English language instruction. Tragically, the United States government frequently fails to provide the required services, which leaves detained children ill equipped for public school when they are released to their families in the U.S. Furthermore, some public schools create enrollment obstacles for released children or fail to provide them with services that are required under federal and state laws. Without legal advocacy, these children will not to receive the education they need to reach their full potential.

As an AmeriCorps member with City Year New York, Matt saw how race, class, disability, legal status, and language barriers create obstacles for immigrant students. As a lawyer, he aims to build relationships with immigrant children and advocate on their behalf, so they can overcome these obstacles and thrive.

Fellowship Plans

Matthew has three main strategies to accomplish the project’s goals. First, he will bear witness and document violations by visiting federal detention facilities, interviewing detained immigrant children, and meeting with recently released children to identify students who are failing to receive the educational services to which they are entitled. Second, he will directly represent on behalf of the individual children to file Flores enforcement actions, administrative complaints, or bring claims under federal and state laws. Third, he will create systematic reform by filing Flores enforcement actions on behalf of multiple detained children if facilities are systemically denying them appropriate educational services. Also, Matt will file litigation against school districts that are systemically denying services to released children.

Meet Other Fellows Like Matthew

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Molly Coe

Host: Volunteers of Legal Service

Sponsor: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, MetLife Foundation

Travis Silva

Host: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Sponsor: Anonymous

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Brittany Bane

Host: Community Legal Center

Sponsor: International Paper

Current Fellow

Camille Van Kote

Host: St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation