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On Demand

Representing Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Court


Created on April 18, 2016



Since the summer of 2014, an increasing number of children have been migrating to the United States alone. Many of these young immigrants are fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault, extreme poverty, and terrorization by gang members in their home countries. Once apprehended upon entry to the United States, unaccompanied children are placed into immigration removal (i.e., deportation) proceedings, but are not appointed counsel. Many are eligible to remain in the United States legally, but without an attorney, children stand alone to plead their cases before an Immigration Judge and a trained government prosecutor. 


This course, led by attorneys Matthew Blaisdell and Claire Thomas, is designed for attorneys from all professional backgrounds to develop a basic understanding of who unaccompanied children are and why they are in Immigration Court. In addition, this course will give attorneys a basic understanding of the different ways of securing immigration status for children, including asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), relief for victims of human trafficking, prosecutorial discretion, termination motions, as well as practice tips to secure these forms of relief. Finally, this course will enable attorneys to take concrete steps to represent a young person so that no child stands alone in immigration court. 


Learning Objectives: 

I.     Understand who unaccompanied children are and why they are in Immigration Court 

II.    Recognize different forms of immigration relief for unaccompanied children and learn practice tips for effective representation 

III.   Identify ways practitioners can help this vulnerable population

Note: This course is approved for GAL for children in Virginia. If you would like a GAL certificate, please email our Customer Support team after completing the course.

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