KIND (Kids in Need of Defense) was founded by Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation to create a pro bono movement of law firms, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, universities and volunteers to provide quality and compassionate legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States.
KIND serves as the leading organization for the protection of unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child's best interests, safety, and well-being.
KIND works to ensure that legislation in Congress addresses the needs of unaccompanied children and improves their protection.
KIND closely follows all legislation; in particular, KIND worked to ensure that the Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, S.744, includes important protections for unaccompanied children. The bill passed the Senate in June 2013; you can read about the unaccompanied children's provisions here. KIND urges the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 15, a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by Representative Joe Garcia on October 2, 2013, that is nearly identical to S. 744, but without the extremely punitive and expensive border provisions. Read more here.
KIND also worked to help pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2013 (see pg 84 of PDF, 127 STAT. 136) introduced by Senators Leahy, Kerry, and Brown to ensure the further protection of unaccompanied children in the United States. The bill builds upon provisions of the TVPRA 2008, introduced by Sen. Leahy, which became law in December 2008, and significantly enhanced the protection of unaccompanied children in the United States.
KIND also worked to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which also became law in early 2013.
KIND is also supporting other legislation, including:
KIND works with federal agencies to ensure that policy, practice, and procedure reflect the protections unaccompanied children are granted under U.S. law.
KIND works with the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies – US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in this work, as well as with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of State.
KIND advocates with these agencies on the full implementation of the William Wilberforce Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. Many of the provisions of this bill are key to ensuring the safety, well-being, and fair treatment of unaccompanied children in the United States.