Each year, thousands of unaccompanied children fleeing war and poverty enter the United States. They are detained in federal custody in shelters contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and placed in removal (deportation) proceedings without the benefit of an appointed attorney. Vera works nationwide to provide legal services and representation to unaccompanied children in removal proceedings, develop best practices, and expand representation to ensure that no child appears in immigration court alone. This work is done through the Unaccompanied Children Program (UCP), which has contracts with ORR to serve the entire US, and the Baltimore Representation Initiative for Unaccompanied Children (BRIUC) and Remote Access Initiative (RAI), which are projects funded by the Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP) at the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).

Project Objectives

  • No unaccompanied child should face immigration court without the help of an attorney.

  • Unaccompanied children fleeing persecution and harm should be able to meaningfully access the legal protections afforded them by the laws of the United States.