top of page
KellyFogel-HumanityHoliday-7470 (1).jpg

Children's Representation Program

Immigrant Defenders Law Center provides full-scope deportation defense, legal consultations, legal education, and holistic social services support to thousands of detained and non-detained children each year. 

       o matter their age, no child is guaranteed representation by an attorney in immigration court. Across the country, unaccompanied children are forced to appear in court on their own while a highly educated and trained government-funded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) prosecutor seeks their deportation. Unrepresented children are expected to understand complex immigration and state laws to navigate the immigration system and present their case in adversarial proceedings before an immigration judge and ICE prosecutor. This is an impossible feat for kids.  We believe due process requires age-appropriate, trauma-informed hearings with a government-appointed and funded lawyer fighting for every child in immigration court.  


We represent children living throughout Southern California, in Los Angeles County, and in underserved regions such as Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties.

All Children Deserve Universal Representation.

Unaccompanied children who had the benefit of legal representation at some point during their cases were more than seven times more likely to receive an outcome that allowed them to remain in the United States than those who did not have attorneys.

Untitled design (30).png

Our Services

Representation For ALL At Every Step

Since its inception, ImmDef has been a leader in implementing the universal representation model for immigrant children. Our representation is full-scale deportation defense, which includes advocacy before immigration court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and in California state courts. ImmDef assists children seeking safety in the United States to fight their deportation cases by helping them apply for humanitarian protections including asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and visas for victims of crimes and human trafficking. We represent all children that qualify for our services on a merits-blind basis. In recognition that no child should have to go to court alone, we will never turn a child away based on the existence of complicated factors or a low likelihood of success under the law. Our goal is to zealously represent as many children as we can so that fewer children are forced to face an immigration judge without an experienced attorney by their side. 

immdef client 11.19 (22 of 22).jpg
ImmDef Dia de Bienvenida-303.jpg

Advocates For Detained Youth in Government Custody

Detained Youth Empowerment Project (DYEP) serves thousands of unaccompanied children in dozens of Southern California short-term facilities operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  We provide critical community education about the immigration process in engaging, child-friendly terms, advocate for children’s rights in government custody, and connect children with counsel in their release location, among other crucial services.      

Giving Children a Fighting Chance to Thrive

Our universal representation model includes holistic humanitarian support so that children can thrive while their case is ongoing. Our Case Management (CMA) team aids our youth clients with social services support such as registering for school, accessing health care and emergency housing, and securing other benefits. In addition, our CMA team acts as a referral source for programs and resources, from trauma counseling and emergency shelter to summer camp and food banks so that children can live with dignity as they adjust to their new communities. 


Children should never face an immigration judge alone.

bottom of page