Friday, November 14, 2014

Serving Undocumented Immigrant Children

--Excerpted from Philanthropy Today

In past years, the Latin American Association in Atlanta provided full legal representation to about 40 undocumented immigrant children seeking asylum in the United States, according to Executive Director Jeffrey Tapia.

This year, it’s taking on 120 cases.

"We have children who arrive here not speaking for months because they have endured trauma and violence that is unimaginable," Ms. Tapia said...

...The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, in Washington, will provide legal services to about 1,000 children this year, twice the number it served in 2013, according to Executive Director Kathy Doan.

"We have slowly been increasing our children’s program, but this summer it basically just exploded," Ms. Doan said. "In the last couple of months we have essentially doubled our staff. I’m now subleasing three additional offices in [our] building so we are now on four floors."

Ayuda, a nonprofit with offices in Washington and Falls Church, Va., served 94 undocumented children in 2013, according to interim executive director Barbara Laur. In the first 10 months of 2014, it saw 198. The nonprofit currently has about 30 full-time staff members, including seven lawyers who each spend at least some time on cases involving children, Ms. Laur says. Legal representation costs about $1,500 per child, she estimated.

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