In 2021, U.S. border agents apprehended more than 130,000 young people traveling to the U.S. through Mexico without a parent or guardian. These immigrants are not entitled to an attorney at government expense under U.S. law, and without one, the odds are that after hearings, they will be sent back to the violence they fled. Safe Passage Project and other nonprofits have stepped up to provide this representation. The good news—90 percent of children the Project represents win their cases and the right to remain in the U.S.
But the victories can take a toll on these young people. To prepare their cases, lawyers must ask about terrible things that have happened to them and their loved ones.
“As immigration attorneys, we understand the legal process that our clients must traverse,” said Nicole Johnson, acting legal director at Safe Passage, “but we cannot truly understand what the system is like for the young people we represent. Because of this, it is important that we learn from these young people so that we can provide them with the services that they need.”
This grant is made with a gift from a donor-advised fund where the advisor gives us money each year to fund our competitive grants program.
Read about other grants supporting immigrants.