Children, Immigration, Criminal Justice System, Unaccompanied Minors
KIND protects unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child’s best interests, safety, and well-being. Unaccompanied children apprehended at the border face deportation proceedings; the majority must make their claim for protection without a lawyer. The result: children can be sent back to situations where their well-being, and even their lives, are in danger. The majority of the children KIND serves have fled severe violence in their home countries. Many have been threatened or attacked by gangs, abandoned, abused, exploited, or trafficked. They come seeking safety, but find new challenges in the U.S.
Given the current conversation in American politics regarding immigration, it is imperative that professionals understand the situations of unaccompanied minors in the immigration system. This training will seek to educate participants on the policies and procedures of the legal system, the motivation and experience of the person involved, and the trauma that may be associated with migrating.
Following this training, workshop participants will be able to:
This workshop will benefit social workers, mental health professionals, clinicians, educators, counselors, and other professionals who want to help unaccompanied minors in the immigration system. This format includes lecture, discussion, case studies, role-plays, and/or interactive activities.
About the Speakers:
Alexandra Peredo Carroll, Interim Managing Attorney
Alexandra is the Senior Pro Bono Attorney in KIND’s Boston Office. Prior to joining KIND, Alex ran a solo immigration practice. A 2006 graduate of Suffolk University Law School, Alex has been practicing immigration law almost exclusively since 2009. From 2009-2011 she worked as an associate at an immigration firm in San Juan, Puerto Rico, handling mostly removal defense and family-based cases while managing the litigation side of the firm. Alex opened her office in Boston in 2011 and her practice slowly evolved to focus on the representation of children in removal proceedings. Prior to her career in immigration law, Alex was a staff attorney at Massachusetts Advocates for Children representing parents of children with special education needs. Alex is an active member of AILA and the Boston Bar Association.
Jasiel Fernandez, Social Services Coordinator
Jasiel is the Boston-based Social Services Coordinator for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) with over 13 years of experience with of vulnerable immigrant communities. She believes that the immigrant experience brings with it a certain degree of traumatization, especially for children. She has extensive experience developing and managing federally funded community-based programming for low-income, immigrant families with a municipal and regional focus. Jasiel’s clinical interests focuses on immigrant/refugee trauma, immigrant integration, and the intersectionality of mental health, faith, and resilience. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, and a master’s in clinical counseling as well as a graduate certificate in Principles of Trauma-Informed Care from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.