NEW YORK, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Boies, Schiller & Flexner, one of the leading litigation law firms, has joined with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) in efforts to represent the growing numbers of unaccompanied children who are placed in immigration removal proceedings.
Last year, more than 60,000 unaccompanied children crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution in Central America, a marked increase over prior years. Many of these children have viable claims to asylum or other forms of relief from deportation, but need the assistance of a lawyer to navigate an overburdened immigration court system. Although they have a right to counsel, they do not have a right to government-appointed counsel at taxpayer expense.
"We are delighted to join KIND in filling this urgent need for representation," said Jonathan Schiller, one of Boies, Schiller & Flexner's managing partners and the chair of the firm's pro bono committee. "In these types of matters having a lawyer can make the difference between life and death. We look forward to helping these children navigate the legal system and secure the relief to which they are entitled," he said.
Boies, Schiller & Flexner has agreed to represent eight children in seven cases. The firm's work, which is pro bono, will be supervised by Partner Philip M. Bowman. Over twenty of the firm's associates will be teaming up with Mr. Bowman to represent the children, said associate Juan Valdivieso, who helped organize the initiative.
"We have partnered with Boies, Schiller & Flexner in the past, and we are grateful that they are redoubling their efforts in this time of crisis when the need is so urgent," said Wendy Young, KIND's President. Boies, Schiller & Flexner has worked with KIND since 2011, and has taken cases including one in which the firm won asylum for two boys fleeing gangs.
This initiative is the latest example of Boies, Schiller & Flexner's work for children in need. In December 2014, the firm won a landmark victory against the state of Florida on behalf of children seeking access to Medicaid.
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KIND was founded by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation to ensure that no immigrant or refugee child has to appear in immigration court alone. Through partnerships with more than 270 law firm, corporate, bar association, and law school partners, KIND matches unaccompanied children with pro bono attorneys who represent the children throughout their proceedings. KIND trains and mentors its volunteer attorneys; KIND has created a pool of more than 10,000 volunteer attorneys across the country in the eight cities in which we work: Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, New York City, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and has been referred more than 7,600 children. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child's best interests, safety, and well-being. supportkind.org
SOURCE Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP