The Immigration Advocates Network
Author: Abigail Krusemark, Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA)

Newly arrived, undocumented Central American children and families face many challenges in the United States: understanding their rights, finding a lawyer, and enrolling children in school, among others. The increase in arrivals has also put pressure on the courts, nonprofit legal and social service providers, and volunteer attorneys. Recent developments, such as the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) adjustment cap, an Associated Press report on the failure of some school districts to enroll immigrant children, the licensing fight over family detention in Texas, and concerns about raids, have compounded the challenges in assisting this population.

The Immigration Advocates Network is the largest network of nonprofit and pro bono immigration advocates in the United States. Do you work for a nonprofit? Represent a client pro bono? You are eligible for membership! On the Immigration Advocates Network you will find resources to help immigrant children:

An advocacy best practices manual for legal service providers from the National Immigrant Justice Center, with guidance on a range of issues including building a program, leveraging pro bono, and working with children.

A practice advisory by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) on how the SIJS visa bulletin works and how to represent your clients facing adjustment delays.

An overview of a child’s right to go to school, regardless of immigration status, and guidance on filing a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), by the Women’s Refugee Commission, Georgetown University Law Center’s Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic & Human Rights Institute.

A Texas state court’s temporary restraining order that blocks Texas from licensing the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, TX as a childcare facility.

Resources from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) on new California state laws protecting immigrant children, which took effect January 1, 2016.

Statistics from FY2016, through 3/31/2016 on apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the southwest border.

Unaccompanied Children Resource CenterUCRC
Our UAC Resource Center offers training and information for volunteer lawyers, as well as plain language resources for immigrants, including a new section on “Adults with Children” at

The Immigration Advocates Network is currently looking for an Immigrant Youth Resources Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA). Find us on