On April 12, 2016, our executive director, Professor Lenni Benson, joined a group of other organizational leaders, academics, and professors for a discussion of the needs of immigrant youth in removal proceedings. The meeting was convened by the MacArthur Foundation as part of a larger discussion on the impact counsel for children has in removal proceedings. Professor Benson had early organized a meeting in New York for the researchers to explain and elaborate on the many needs children have in the removal process and to explain the complex web of agencies and family court filings that are made as part of a child’s case for relief from removal.
Professor Benson is also participating in other conversations in Washington D.C. examining the current processing delays before the immigration court and how greater efficiency can be achieved while preserving accuracy and fairness in adjudication.
Professor Benson commented that her work with Safe Passage Project has greatly informed her understanding of the many ways that cases can become stuck or where the bottlenecks in adjudication arise. She said, “I am particularly grateful to the many pro bono attorneys who bravely and consistently advocate for children in these complex bureaucratic processes. I hope to be able to translate their experiences into effective advocacy for reform.”