Each year over 8,000 immigrant children from around the world enter the United States alone, without parents or legal guardians. Many come to this country seeking economic and educational opportunities or to reunite with family members who are already here. Still others come to escape physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in their homes, neglect or abandonment by their families, or violent recruitment by gangs or rebel armies, and others are trafficked into the U.S. to perform forced labor. Others have come to the US with their families, but have become separated, abandoned, or left their families due to abuse or poverty. These young people are extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation while living on the streets or with non-relatives.
Founded in 2004, the Children’s Project provides immigration legal services to immigrant children in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia who are in the US without parents or legal guardians. Through the Children’s Project, Ayuda provides them with advice and counsel, and whenever possible, helps them apply for immigration benefits, and represents them before both state and Immigration Courts.
In addition to legal services, the Children’s Project engages in extensive outreach efforts and conducts trainings for social workers, teachers, health care professionals, attorneys, judges, law enforcement, and community organizations in order to raise awareness and hopefully identify those who may be eligible for special immigration benefits available to many children.
For assistance with a matter involving an immigrant child, please come with the child to our office during weekly walk-in consultation hours. For directions to our office and intake hours, please click here.