New York is one of the cities that has helped immigrants children in the United States, especially minors arriving illegally mostly from Central America.
Federal data estimated that by 2014 more than 57,000 children were detained crossing the border alone, fleeing from situations of violence that they were living in their home countries (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala). For 2015 so far it is estimated that more than 23,000 have been arrested.
For those children, the city of New York offers an immigration attorney free of charge to help them in the process, this help certainly sets an example for the rest of the country and the world.
The whole process took place with the union of the city of New York and private foundations that have so far been able to finance the “Unaccompanied Minors Initiative” program of legal aid and social services for children, thanks to the 3.5 millions of dollars donated by them.
But New York is not the only country that has received minors, Texas is the first place with nearly 6,000 children who arrived in the 2014 fiscal year.
So far about 1,332 children have arrived in 2015, according to the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Melissa Mark Viverito, president of the City Council said that “no child in New York will face immigration court alone”, and that they will not have more crises in the lack of legal representation for children in New York.
The “Unaccompanied Minors Initiative” has almost a year since founded and leads so far about 648 cases directly, assessing the situation of 1,600 children and already won 14 asylum cases.
Although finding a home takes time and is not exactly easy, lawyers do not give up. Many of them see the option of “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status” as a way of getting more supported children. Everyone under 21 who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, has benefits .
The municipal program has requested support services in mental health in at least 163 cases.
In 2015 Unaccompanied Minors Initiative has spent a million dollars for cases and has another million estimated for 2016.
The Robin Hood Foundation and the New York Community Trust also encourage the initiative and contributed with a total of $ 900,000.