Back to News

RAICES Legal Representation, Education, and Advocacy Fund (LEAF)

LEAF Project

RAICES Legal Representation, Education, and Advocacy Fund (LEAF)

As hundreds of children are being ripped away from their children at the Texas-Mexico border, RAICES received word this week that funding to represent unaccompanied children is ending. Children with representation are not lost. More than 90% of children with representation continue on with their court case. Children with representation are five times more likely to be successful in their case that children who go to court alone. Representation is often the last line of safety for children very vulnerable to exploitation by both a system and a country hostile to their presence.
What has happened?

In a 13 day period this May, 658 children were separated from their parents at the border.

Last month, Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary of Administration for Children and Families for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that ORR lost nearly 1,500 children.

Last week, RAICES and many other organizations who represent unaccompanied children after they are released from ORR custody were informed the Trump administration is ending funding for representing thousands of released unaccompanied children.

Simply, children are being taken from their families, put into a system not equipped to ensure their safety, and losing the representation designed to be their safeguard through this process.

Last year, 76% of kids in immigration court in Texas were not represented.

We cannot allow this anymore. This administration will stop at nothing to break apart families. The well being of kids does not matter to them.

But it matters to you. It matters to us. Help us keep these kids safe. Don’t let them go through this system alone.

The Legal Representation, Advocacy, and Education Project will provide universal representation for released unaccompanied kids in Texas. Last year, there were over 13,000 kids who were not represented in immigration court in Texas.

This is a big idea. This is a risky idea. We don’t know if we can do it. But you can make it possible.

And right now, we have to do all the things we aren’t sure we can do because this administration will do everything we can’t imagine would ever happen.

Please support this initiative. We will work and work and work and we need you with us.