Maria Blumenfeld

The Project

Maria provides direct legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant children as part of the justice AmeriCorps program. She represents children in immigration removal proceedings, as well as before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in cases involving asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and other forms of relief. She also mentors pro bono attorneys who represent children in immigration or state court proceedings. Part of her job is to also screen clients for trauma, abuse, and trafficking. Thousands of unaccompanied children are crossing the U.S. border without a parent or guardian. These children are escaping violence in their home countries. Immigrants, including immigrant children, do not have the right to appointed counsel. This program is designed to provide legal representation to certain young immigrants who would otherwise have to navigate the complex immigration system on their own. The program also aims to improve the efficiency and the effectiveness of the immigration system by increasing the number of represented children who appear before the court.