Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

The Offertory collection for the Mothers’ Day service on May 14 will be dedicated to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND).  KIND’s mission is to protect children who are fleeing to the United States, to ensure that no child appears in immigration court without legal representation.  The non-profit organization trains and provides pro bono attorneys to represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings.

Children in deportation proceedings who appear without counsel have little chance of success.  KIND has trained more than 17,000 attorneys and helped more than 14,000 unaccompanied children since opening its doors in 2009.  The children represented by KIND receive all legal and other services free of charge.

KIND also works on the public policy level to change laws and practices that jeopardize unaccompanied children. The organization also helps children returning to their countries of origin to reintegrate back into the communities.

Society member Ed Silver and several of his legal colleagues from Columbia University’s in-house legal department are working on a pro bono case assigned by KIND.   They are representing two children who fled gang violence from Central America.  The children are currently facing the threat of deportation, and, if not for KIND, would very likely join the thousands of children in a courtroom, facing a government attorney, without any assistance.   Ed conveys his gratitude for the opportunity to help support KIND in the performance of its critical work.