Stephanie provides direct legal representation to unaccompanied children in removal proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review. It’s estimated that more than 70,000 children attempted to cross the southwest border without a parent or guardian in 2014 alone. This represents a staggering increase in unaccompanied minor children, of whom there were fewer than 20,000 just three years ago. Despite their vulnerability, these children are not guaranteed any kind of legal representation. Lack of legal counsel combined with the dramatic surge of children entering the U.S. has led to a critical need for low-cost legal services. This project aims to give unaccompanied children fleeing violence, abuse, and trafficking a fair chance at justice.
During Stephanie’s Fellowship, Stephanie:
- Continued to represent unaccompanied children in their immigration proceedings
- Continued to provide legal orientations and legal screenings for youth at the Philadelphia Immigration Court
- Continued to recruit and mentor pro bono attorneys to represent children’s caretakers in state court proceedings related to the children’s Special Immigrant Juvenile Status claims