National Center for Youth Law


Protecting the due process rights of children in federal immigration custody.

Since 2014 more than 160,000 unaccompanied children have arrived in the United States.  In 2016, almost 60,000 unaccompanied immigrant children were apprehended. These children have always faced grave danger in the United States. Under the Trump Administration, the threats to their civil rights, safety and well-being are unprecedented.

New Trump Administration policies issued in February 2017 delineate several changes that will have devastating consequences for immigrant children. More immigrant children will experience prolonged detention, be separated from their families, and be deported without due process. More children may end up in the child welfare system as a result of having their caregivers deported. Fewer undocumented children will have the benefit of legal counsel. Fewer children will have the legal designation of “unaccompanied,” eroding their already limited rights in the immigration process.

The goals of this campaign are:

  • Reduce the number of undocumented children placed in detention facilities
  • Ensure undocumented children in detention facilities are quickly reunified with their families or placed with caring adults whenever possible
  • Ensure undocumented children receive the constitutional due process protections to which they are entitled

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