Strengthening Services for Unaccompanied Children, a recent report from the Migration Policy Institute, examines the challenges faced by unaccompanied minors once they are released from federal custody in communities across the United States. The report includes an interview with Safe Passage Project’s Legal Director Desireé Hernández Sánchez on the importance of lawyers for unaccompanied children:
“Having high-quality legal representation can make the difference between remaining safe in the United States or returning to a life of violence, abuse, or neglect in their home country” explained Desireé Hernández, Deputy Executive Director and Legal Director for the Safe Passage Project. Assistance in navigating the legal process, Hernández also noted, allows children “to focus on other aspects of their lives like education and family life.”
The report also includes recommendations for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), state and local governments, and community providers to strengthen federal and community post-release services.
Access the full report here.