Representing Unaccompanied Minors | WYPR

Representing Unaccompanied Minors

Oct 27, 2014

Sheilah Kast and Adonia Simpson in the studio.
Credit Eric Seymour, Esperanza Center-Catholic Charities of Baltimore

It’s been a year since news reports started covering the large numbers of children crossing the U.S. border from Central American countries. It’s estimated that more than 55,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border since that time. And since January 2014, more than 2,800 minors have been placed with relatives or new caretakers in Maryland. In July, we examined why these children were coming to Maryland and we looked at the options that were on the table to house them. But now we want to ask what’s the next step for these children who are living in the state?

To talk about the legal needs of unaccompanied minors, Sheilah is joined by Adonia Simpson, managing attorney for Catholic Charities’ Esperanza Center in Fells Point. Also on the phone is Jennifer Larrabee, deputy director for the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. We also hear from Tawyna Brown, executive director of Bethany Christian Services, a non-profit that provides services to youth when they are released to a sponsor. 

Additional resources

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, along with the Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration, is sponsoring a training event on Wednesday, it's for attorneys who want to learn how to file for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. More information here

The O’Malley administration unveiled a website last month with resources for undocumented unaccompanied children and their sponsors. 

Sheilah Kast spoke with Tawyna Brown, executive director of Bethany Christian Services, at the 7th Annual Baltimore Immigration Summit last Friday. Follow the links to learn more about the Summit and see the list of speakers.