Houston lawyers step up to help families separated at the border

As the Trump administration continues to miss court-ordered deadlines to reunite families separated at the border, many in the Texas legal community are stepping up to help.

Prominent Houston attorneys are working with pro bono groups in Houston, including Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the ABA’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Network, to make sure these families have the legal support they need during this process.

Critics have long highlighted the unfair nature of the nation’s immigration court system that requires children — some still in diapers — to have appearances before judges and go through deportation proceedings while separated from their parents. Such children don’t have a right to a court-appointed attorney, and 90 percent of kids without a lawyer are returned to their home countries regardless of what the conditions there are, according to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a group that provides legal representation.

Pro bono groups, like KIND, help provide volunteer lawyers to help solve this problem.  It is well established that children fare better in immigration proceedings when they are represented by counsel.  KIND serves as the leading organization for the protection of unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child’s best interests, safety, and well-being.

KIND has offices in eight cities in the United States – Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Newark, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Seattle.  KIND finds pro bono attorneys in highly regarded law firms and corporations who agree to represent KIND’s child clients in their immigration proceedings. The ABA’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Network also provides attorneys with opportunities to donate time and resources to the effort to reunify families properly at our border.

Local Houston attorneys are stepping up to volunteer their time and resources to help these pro bono groups in the aim to give these separated children the proper legal representation in immigration court.  Family law attorney Bobby Newman is no stranger to fighting to reunify families. He, and his team, have long fought to protect parents’ and children’s rights to be together.  In his recent representation of a local father whose son is the victim of an international abduction, Bobby Newman who has a young son himself, found himself wanting to find a way to do more.  A member of Bobby Newman’s team already volunteers for KIND and has successfully handled asylum proceedings.  Bobby Newman reached out and offered his team’s experience to help KIND with their efforts to make sure that children do not appear without counsel, and all of the things that they need, in immigration court.

Get involved

If you want to volunteer to help these children, please visit the links below.