Each year, thousands of unaccompanied children, many fleeing unspeakable violence in their own countries, 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 to preserve the rights of tens of thousands of migrant children, by partnering with a network of 36 legal service providers who inform these children of their rights under U.S. law and defend them in their legal proceedings. Vera supports attorneys in developing best practices for serving unaccompanied children in removal proceedings, encouraging their zealous advocacy for their client’s legal interests. Vera is committed to providing unaccompanied children coming to the United States access to legal representation and a full understanding of their legal rights, while working closely with our network of legal service providers to continue to 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 provide independent, quality legal services for unaccompanied children throughout the U.S.

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.

Unaccompanied Children

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. The map on the right shows the six different regions, distinguished by color, where our legal service providers operate. Click on a state to see the cities covered by our network as well as the names and websites of our legal service providers in that area.