On Fifth Anniversary of DACA, Young Center Joins Call to Recognize Important Protection for Children and Youth
August 14, 2017 Today the Young Center’s Executive Director Maria Woltjen (University of Chicago Law School), Board President Elissa Steglich  (University of Texas School of Law) and Director of Programs and Policy Jennifer Nagda  (University of Pennsylvania Law School) joined more than 100 professors of law in a letter explaining the legality—and importance—of the Deferred Action for Childhood […]


Blaming Child’s Parent “Unconscionable”
July 18, 2017 We are “destroying trust in the nation’s child protection framework,” by targeting the parents of immigrant children seeking safety in the United States, says Olivia Golden, the former head of the District of Columbia’s child welfare system. Read her compelling story here: http://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/07/18/blaming-parents-is-an-unconscionable-response-to-children-fleeing-violence/.


Immigration Judges also face broken system
July 13, 2017 In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Sarah Sherman-Stokes highlights the increasing burdens and lack of training and support for immigration judges tasked with making the most important decisions about children, parents and families in her Washington Post Op-Ed piece. 


Uplifting Report on DACA Youth
June 22, 2017 Five years after the DACA program was implemented, a study by Roberto Gonzalez demonstrates how lifting the threat of deportation and providing youth and young adults with opportunities to study and to work lawfully has improved their lives and benefitted their families and communities. Read more about Taking Giant Leaps Forward here.


Juvenile Law Center Calls on Government to Care and Protect All Children
June 13, 2017 On Wednesday, June 14, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will begin review of several bills that would eviscerate the few protections that exist for vulnerable immigrant children seeking protection from traffickers or requesting protection from their persecutors. These proposed changes to the law would also undermine decades of progress in the fields of child welfare, […]


Three Members of Congress Who Understand that Immigration Policies Harm Children
May 31, 2017 Today, three Congresswomen wrote a letter to their colleagues demonstrating how harsh, punitive immigration policies cause real harm to the health and well-being of children.  Read the letter from Congresswomen Roybill-Allard, Napolitano and Jayapal as published in The Hill here. 


Young Center protests efforts to increase detention of children
May 18, 2017 On May 18, the Young Center joined more than 20 child advocacy organizations in protesting language in House Bill HR2431, which would expand the detention of children in DHS facilities, instead of placing them in protective custody with the Department of Health and Human services. Read more about the bill and our concerns here.


Children’s Defense Fund, Juvenile Law Center, 60 others speak out for immigrant children
May 18, 2017 More than 60 national and state organizations working in the field of child welfare, child development, social work, education and medicine joined a statement of shared principles entitled On This We Can Agree: Children Require Special Care. The five principles included in the statement—while so very basic—do not appear in many of the proposals recently put […]


DHS sends five-year-old boy and his mother back to Honduras despite murder of family members and evidence it was unsafe for child to return:
May 8, 2017 Read more here.


New Compendium of Facts on Immigrants and Refugees
April 20, 2017 The Center for American Progress just released a compendium of all of the facts on immigrants and refugees in the United States. The 50-page guide covers demographics, facts on immigrants and the economy, state and local laws, updates on interior and border enforcement and critical information on public opinions about immigration. You can find the […]


You Don’t Use Children to Send a Message
March 7, 2017 Administration’s Plan to Forcibly Separate Children from their Parents is Unconscionable: You Don’t Use Children to Send a Message March 7, 2017—The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, announced on March 6th that his agency is considering a plan to forcibly separate children from their mothers and fathers at the border. Parents […]


WEBINAR: THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE FOR CHILDREN IN IMMIGRATION PROCEEDINGS
March 1, 2017 In case you missed our February 10th webinar on the recent Executive Orders and the impact on immigrant children, you can view the recording here. Young Center Policy Director, Jennifer Nagda, and Associate Director, Elizabeth Frankel will walk you through the existing legal regime and how the recent Executive Orders impact immigrant children. You’ll learn […]


Parents are Trying to Keep their Kids Safe
February 23, 2017 In a February 22, 2017 article from ABC News, Young Center Director Maria Woltjen challenged the idea that parents who seek to protect their children from extreme violence by sending them to the United States are trafficking their own children. That idea—and other misunderstandings about the factors that drive children to migrate thousands of miles […]


Pediatricians Unite for Immigrant Children
February 15, 2017 Today eight national organizations of pediatricians—physicians and researchers—offered their “renewed resolve to do everything we can to care for and protect immigrant children, refugee children, and all children” and asked the federal government to do the same. Their statement highlights how the recent Executive Orders on immigration affect both particularly vulnerable immigrant children, and many […]


Doctors Stand with Immigrant Children
January 27, 2017 The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a powerful statement calling upon the Administration to protect children, including those seeking safety in the United States. Dr. Fernando Stein, President of the AAP stated, “The Executive Orders signed [January 25, 2017] are harmful to immigrant children and families throughout the country.” We couldn’t agree more with the […]


THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS FAR AND WIDE, WITH GRATITUDE TO JEZEBEL.COM
December 13, 2016 After election results on Nov 8th, we were heartbroken. But heartened. Early in the morning, on the day after the election, donations started trickling in to the Young Center’s website. We were surprised, because we had no fundraising ask out there. There were donations of all sizes, $10, $20, $100 . . . And many gifts […]


You are welcome here!
December 9, 2016 Alex Kotlowitz writes in the New Yorker about federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s powerful message of welcome and hope for new citizens. Read the article here. Here is a full transcript of Judge Barker’s remarks.


Jenner & Block
December 7, 2016 We have great news! On October 1st the Young Center became its own independent non-profit organization, separating from our parent organization of nearly a decade. Thank you to our Board member, Richard Levy, and an outstanding team of Jenner & Block attorneys who provided their invaluable expertise and countless hours of pro bono time to make this happen: Joe Smith, Grant Schweikert, […]


We're #WithDACA
November 18, 2016 The Young Center has long known that DACA—a program granting DREAMers the right to work—Is critically important for fostering the talent, contributions and the well-being of young adults who came to the U.S. as children. Today, the Center for American Progress (CAP) ran the numbers and demonstrated just how valuable the contributions of DREAMers are. […]


Message to Raise Awareness about the Significant Impact of the Presidential Election on Youth Health and Well-Being
November 16, 2016 The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition and Lurie Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Resilience disseminated a post-election message to support marginalized youth. It provides guidance that may be helpful in Child Advocate conversations with children, their families, and other stakeholders. It also lists the Young Center as a resource focused on human rights and civil rights! […]


Jones Day Foundation
November 10, 2016 Thank you to the Jones Day Foundation for its generous grant of $100,000. In October, the Jones Day Foundation awarded the Young Center with a $100,000 grant to go toward assisting children in the U.S. immigration court system. This grant could not have come at a more critical time. Right now, an unprecedented 400 children […]


Jonathan Todres calls on the President to Protect the Rights of Children
October 6, 2016 Professor Jonathan Todres posted the following call to action on the Bringing Human Rights Home Blog: “Next week is Yom Kippur (Sundown, October 11 to Sundown, October 12), the Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar. As tradition has it, atoning on Yom Kippur will address only sins against God. For transgressions against other individuals, […]


Young Center Calls on President to Protect Central American Children
September 8, 2016 Today the Young Center joined nearly 400 organizations in calling on President Obama to extend temporary protected status (TPS) to particularly vulnerable children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. TPS is a form of humanitarian protection that provides a stay of deportation and employment authorization for undocumented immigrants who cannot safely be returned to their country […]


Winning Asylum is Even Harder for Central Americans who Speak Indigenous Languages
September 2, 2016 “I tried to explain that I would be killed if I went back to Guatemala,” the woman wrote in a translated affidavit prepared by her attorney. “Everyone only spoke Spanish with us. It was very difficult to communicate. No one asked me what language I spoke, much less tried to find someone who could speak […]


“As Cold As ICE”
August 13, 2016 Attorney and Professor Lauren Gilbert profiles the dangers faced by children and their mothers forced into “expedited removal proceedings” when they come to the United States seeking protection. Read more here.


The Smuggler's Due
August 12, 2016 “No photos. No notes. No mementos of any kind. Just a long, tearful hug at the airport.” Chen was 14 when he was trafficked. Alex Kotlowitz recounts what happened next.  http://nyti.ms/2bmrJHs


In memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton
August 2, 2016 The Young Center would like to acknowledge a recent gift in memory of Jean Dubinsky Appleton. Ms. Appleton lived a meaningful life, participating in some of the most important social and political issues and events of the 20th Century. This donation will be dedicated to ensuring the Young Center continues to grow, promoting the best […]


Not up for running ten miles today? Support someone who is! 
July 27, 2016 On August 6, Elizabeth Frankel, Young Center’s Associate Director, is running a 72-mile relay race, as part of a 7-person team to raise money and awareness for Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Give a shout out to Liz, and support the Young Center by going to: https://the-young-center.networkforgood.com/projects/15140-elizabeth-frankel-s-fundraiser


VICTORY: Texas to stop denying US-born, citizen children their full citizenship rights
July 25, 2016 In 2013, Nancy Hernandez gave birth to a baby girl in a hospital in Texas. When she went to the county office to get a birth certificate, officials told Ms. Hernandez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant living in the U.S., that the rules had changed. Texas required a valid U.S. visa which Ms. Hernandez did not […]


Dubious? How about Dangerous
July 20, 2016 This week, the New York Times Editorial Board issued a stinging rebuke of the Administration’s detention of children and parents in so-called “family detention centers” where mothers and children (including babies and toddlers) seeking protection from persecution and violence are detained in facilities that deny them due process and exacerbate children’s experiences of trauma. As […]


Louis, from Guatemala, living in New York, says he is "the luckiest guy alive"
July 19, 2016 Featured in Humans of New York: “My parents brought me from Guatemala when I was fourteen. Immigration wasn’t as big of a deal back in the 70’s. When I got to New York, I joined a soccer team with players from ten different countries. And you could just go to work and nobody asked any questions. […]


9th Circuit to Hear Argument on Whether Immigrant Children Should be Provided Legal Representation
June 28, 2016 Next week in Seattle, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case over the rights of immigrant children to an attorney in deportation proceedings. This case has far-reaching consequences for thousands of immigrant children. Read the full story here.


GAO finds Young Center Child Advocate Program should Expand to Keep Pace with Number of Children
April 22, 2016 This week the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report on the work of the Young Center for Immigrant Children Rights at the University of Chicago. The Young Center, based at the University of Chicago law school, is the only organization in the country appointed as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem) in immigration matters […]


THE YOUNG CENTER IS HIRING IN LA AND HOUSTON!
April 21, 2016 The Staff Attorney position is a unique opportunity for an attorney to engage in written and oral advocacy on behalf of children in removal proceedings. The Staff Attorney will draft and submit best interests recommendations in immigration court, before asylum offices, to public interest attorneys, to the pro bono bar, and to the three federal […]


Huge News for The Young Center: We're Growing!
April 20, 2016 The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is thrilled to announce that it has won a new contract to provide Child Advocate services to unaccompanied immigrant children in Chicago, Brownsville (Harlingen), New Jersey/New York, Houston and Washington, DC. Under the contract the Young Center’s staff of Child Advocates—attorneys and social workers experienced in immigration and […]


NYT Discusses An Immigrant's Four-Year Fight to Become a Lawyer
February 5, 2016 Five years old when he crossed the border, Cesar Vargas is now a lawyer. At the swearing in, his law professors cried. His mother cried “because the child I took by the hand crossing the border is now a lawyer.” Read more here.


Young Center Issues a Statement for Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the Safety of Unaccompanied Children Released from Custody
January 28, 2016 On January 28, 2016, the Young Center submitted a Statement for the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee regarding the safety of unaccompanied children released to sponsors. Unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children are—first and foremost—children. Whenever possible they should be safely released to family or sponsors who are able to care for them while […]


Young Center Urges Obama to End Deportation of Children
January 21, 2016 On January 21st, the Young Center and 50 other children’s advocacy organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking him to protect the best interests of immigrant children and end the deportation of families and children. With our colleagues, we urged the Administration to ensure children and families seeking refuge receive protection, and instead focus […]


NYT Calls Raids of Children, Families “Shameful”
January 11, 2016 On January 8, the New York Times editorial board criticized recent efforts to deport children and families fleeing extraordinary violence in Central America. Notably, the editorial recognized that these children and families did not come here “illegally,” but presented themselves at our border after terrifying journeys, to request protection—which is their right under U.S. and […]


Young Center opposes alleged plan to deport children and families
January 4, 2016 On December 31, 2015 the Young Center joined more than 160 organizations opposing the administration’s plan to begin deporting children and families—many of whom are eligible for protection in the United States from persecution, abuse and other forms of violence in their countries. To understand why these particular deportations could violate the fundamental principle of […]


Board Member Opportunity, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School
November 5, 2015 Board Member Opportunity, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School. The Young Center, a dynamic and growing organization, has an opening for a Board Member. Launched in Chicago in 2003, the Young Center now has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston and Harlingen, Texas, on the U.S. […]


Unsettled Journeys, three-part series in The Baltimore Sun
November 4, 2015 Unsettled Journeys, three-part series in The Baltimore Sun. For millions of refugees, it is a time of harrowing journeys. An estimated 60 million people, including those now risking their lives to get to Europe, flee war and ethnic conflicts in an unprecedented global migration. Some of those refugees — about 70,000 this year and 100,000 […]


James Nachtwey: The Journey of Hope
November 4, 2015 The journey of hope. The world over, children on the move. Syria, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. Photos by James Nachtwey, Time Magazine. http://time.com/4065597/james-nachtwey-the-journey-of-hope/


Jennifer Nagda to speak at Rutgers-Camden Law School, Thursday October 29
October 29, 2015 This Thursday, the Young Center’s Policy Director will join Megan McKenna from KIND to address the policy and advocacy challenges arising from the heightened attention to unaccompanied children seeking protection in the United States. The event is the first in a three-part series convened by The Center on Violence Against Women and Children in partnership […]


Maria Woltjen Speaking at University of Chicago’s 125th Anniversary Celebration on October 21st, Pioneers of the New Social Frontier, at the Chicago History Museum
October 21, 2015 In recognition of the University’s 125th anniversary, SSA presents an event centered on the Abbott sisters: Grace and Edith Abbott, two of the most important figures in American social welfare practice and education. Grace Abbott was the founder of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and Edith Abbott, was an economist, social work scholar, and the first […]


Maria Woltjen Speaking at the University of Chicago Human Rights Conference
October 17, 2015 On Saturday, October 17th, Young Center Executive Director, Maria Woltjen, is speaking at the University of Chicago Human Rights Conference, Human Trafficking, Labor Migration, and Migration Control. The conference will bring together historians, activists, practitioners and policymakers to discuss trafficking and migration. The Young Center frequently serves children who are victims of labor trafficking, from […]


Report finds family detention damages children’s health and well-being
August 25, 2015 Family detention damages children’s health and well-being. On August 19th, Human Rights First issued a report finding that detention is harmful to children and families. Despite two decisions by the U.S. Disctrict Court Judge Dolly Gee ordering the Department of Homeland Security to release children “without unnecessary delay,” the Obama administration has not implemented the […]


"One Year Later" Blog Series
July 24, 2015 The Migrant Clinician’s Network provides critical medical services to migrant communities, including unaccompanied children. The Network has posted a series of compelling articles about members’ experiences working with vulnerable children on its blog. To learn more, visit: http://www.migrantclinician.org/blog/2015/jul/one-year-later-out-detention-center-and-exam-room-what-clinicians-need-know.html.


Young Center Opposes House Bills that Undercut Protections for Immigrant Children
March 5, 2015 Yesterday, the Young Center urged members of the House Judiciary Committee to reject bills that would undercut critical protections for unaccompanied children, many of whom are fleeing irreparable harm. Click here to read our statement.


U.S. delays Obama's immigration steps after judge's rebuke
February 17, 2015  U.S. delays Obama’s immigration steps after judge’s rebuke (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration on Tuesday delayed implementing his unilateral steps to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation after a judge blocked the actions at the urging of 26 states accusing Obama of exceeding his powers. In a setback to the president, U.S. District […]


NY Times: Dealt Setback, Obama Puts Off Immigrant Plan
February 17, 2015 Dealt Setback, Obama Puts Off Immigrant Plan WASHINGTON — One day before hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants were to begin applying for work permits and legal protection, administration officials on Tuesday postponed President Obama’s sweeping executive actions on immigration indefinitely, saying they had no choice but to comply with a federal judge’s last-minute order […]


A Judge Just Ruled to Halt Immigration Executive Action. Here are 5 Things You Should Know.
February 16, 2015 A Judge Just Ruled to Halt Immigration Executive Action. Here are 5 Things You Should Know. Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen provided a ruling on a lawsuit put forward by 26 states and issued an injunction to delay the application process and deportation relief for millions of immigrants announced by President Obama last November. […]


U.S. Immigrant Population by State and County
February 11, 2015 U.S. Immigrant Population by State and County This map displays the geographic distribution of immigrants in the United States by country of origin.* Hover over a state to get the total foreign-born population and doubleclick on a state to get top county estimates. Use the dropdown menu under the map to select a particular country […]


The Young Center is hiring in New York, Washington, D.C., Houston and the Rio Grande Valley!
January 20, 2015 The Young Center is thrilled to announce that we are expanding the Child Advocate Program and opening offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and Houston. We are looking to hire for the following positions: Houston Office: Staff Attorney Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator Washington D.C. Office: Staff Attorney Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator New York Office: Supervising Staff Attorney […]


2014 Was The Year Of The Child Immigrant Crisis, And It May Reappear In 2015
December 27, 2014 2014 Was The Year Of The Child Immigrant Crisis, And It May Reappear In 2015 International Business Times By Brianna Lee 12.27.2014 U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive action on deportation relief may have been the most groundbreaking event in immigration this year. But by and large, 2014 was the year of another immigration issue that […]


A Child, an Immigration Hearing, and a Doctor's Testimony
December 8, 2014 A Child, an Immigration Hearing, and a Doctor’s Testimony The Atlantic By Jennie Gold 12.8.2014 In New York and Los Angeles, partnerships between pediatricians, psychologists, and legal clinics help unaccompanied minors prepare for the courtroom. New York lawyer Brett Stark, who has worked with dozens of unaccompanied Central American children who crossed into the United […]


NY Times: New York Immigration Groups Prepare to Meet Demands of New Policy
November 28, 2014 New York Immigration Groups Prepare to Meet Demands of New Policy President Obama’s sweeping executive actions on immigration present daunting logistical challenges across the nation, but especially in New York, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has called “the gateway for immigrants worldwide.” The changes come amid growing recognition that the state’s large and diverse population of […]


Unaccompanied minors bring hope, past trauma to American schools
November 24, 2014 Unaccompanied minors bring hope, past trauma to American schools Hechinger Report By Lillian Mongeau 11.24.2014 Bandon, 18 and a recent immigrant from Guatemala, jumped eagerly into a recent conversation exercise in his English language class. He was supposed to ask a classmate, “What color are your eyes?” With liquid brown eyes of his own, and […]


The Young Center is hiring in South Texas!
October 28, 2014 New Positions at the Young Center – Apply Today! The Young Center is thrilled to announce that we will be growing the Child Advocate project. We are looking to hire for the following positions: 2014 Harlingen Texas Staff Attorney Job Description: The Staff Attorney will draft and submit best interests recommendations in immigration court, before asylum […]


The Young Center is hiring in New York/New Jersey!
October 10, 2014 New Positions at the Young Center – Apply Today! The Young Center is thrilled to announce that we will be growing the Child Advocate project. We are looking to hire for the following positions: 2014 New York New Jersey Supervising Attorney Job Description: The Supervising Attorney will supervise the New York/New Jersey Staff Attorney and Administrative […]


The Young Center is hiring in Houston, Texas!
October 10, 2014 New Positions at the Young Center – Apply Today! The Young Center is thrilled to announce that we will be growing the Child Advocate project. We are looking to hire for the following positions: 2014 Houston Texas Supervising Attorney Job Description: The Supervising Attorney will supervise the Houston Staff Attorney and Administrative Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator as well […]


Advocates for Children Win Nobel Peace Prize!
October 10, 2014 LONDON — A teenage Pakistani activist thrust into the global spotlight in a horrific act of violence and a graying Indian reformer who followed Gandhi’s creed of peaceful persistence were united Friday as shared winners of the world’s most prestigious award. The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to give the 2014 Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and […]


The Young Center stands with 160 NGOs to demand the government cease the detention of families
September 25, 2014 September 25, 2014 Re: NGOs united in opposition to family detention in Dilley, Karnes, and Artesia Dear Mr. President: We, the undersigned 168 immigrants’ rights, faith-based, civil rights, human rights, anti-violence, and criminal justice reform organizations and legal service providers, are deeply dismayed to learn that your administration intends to open a new family detention […]


Hispanic Heritage Month Event: Unaccompanied Children Crisis Event
September 17, 2014 Check out Hispanic Heritage Month Event at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology on the unaccompanied kids crisis. Our very own Maria Woltjen to present! Workshop Description: Join this introductory panel and discussion on what is being done politically and legally to advocate for the rights of unaccompanied minors coming from Central America.  Furthermore, learn […]


Immigration Law Experts agree President has Legal Authority to Protect Immigrants from Deportation
September 3, 2014 136 Leading Experts on Immigration Law Agree: President Has Legal Authority to Expand Relief to Immigrants September 3, 2014  Washington D.C. —U.S. law professors sent a letter today to the White House stating that President Obama has wide legal authority to make needed changes to immigration enforcement policy. The president is considering how to use […]


Clashing Narratives
September 2, 2014 This June 25, 2014 photo shows a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the US-Mexico border illegally as they are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Call it irony or call it a nightmare, but the “crisis” of Central American children crossing the US-Mexican border, which lasted for months amid […]


Univision: Risking It All, Children at the Border
August 28, 2014 Maria Elena Salinas’ special, Risking It All: Children at the Border, aired July 20 can be seen in the hyperlink below. The special reports on the story behind the exodus of Central American children to the border. [CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE SPECIAL ON FUSION]


Human Trafficking Panel - League of Women Voters
August 27, 2014 The League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest will be hosting an expert panel on HUMAN TRAFFICKING in IL that includes The Young Center’s executive director, Maria Woltjen. Join the event to learn about current legislation, challenges in the Chicago region, and research-based evidence surrounding this topic. Click here for more information and to […]


ACLU: "Groups Sue U.S. Government over Life-Threatening Deportation Process against Mothers and Children Escaping Extreme Violence in Central America"
August 22, 2014 “Any mother will do whatever it takes to make sure her children are safe from harm’s way,” said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for the National Immigration Law Center. August 22, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and […]


NY Times: Advocates Seek to Delay Deportations for Millions
August 19, 2014 Advocates Seek to Delay Deportations for Millions Eleven people living in the United States illegally, including a high-profile activist, plan to apply for deportation deferrals on Wednesday as part of an effort to pressure President Obama to include many millions of immigrants in any executive action to reduce deportations. The coordinated effort was organized by Jose Antonio […]


FACT SHEET: Putting the Child Refugees in Context
August 8, 2014 Putting the Central American Children in Context


TIME: "The Border and Obama"
July 17, 2014 The Border and Obama      A young girl from Honduras waits for a northbound freight train to depart in Mexico as she makes her way to the U.S. border. Eduardo Verdugo—AP It’s time to stop running away from the nation’s troubles The woman from Honduras was tiny and extremely pregnant. “When are you due?” asked Sister Norma […]


NPR: "LA Street Gangs Spread To Central America Causing International Threat"
July 16, 2014 LA Street Gangs Spread To Central America Causing International Threat July 16, 2014 5:02 AM ET Renee Montagne talks to Carlos Dada of ElFaro.net in El Salvador and Robert Lopez of the Los Angeles Times about the violence which has motivated thousands of children to try to escape to the U.S. [LISTEN TO THE STORY HERE]


Vox: "The process Congress wants to use for child migrants is a disaster"
July 15, 2014 The process Congress wants to use for child migrants is a disaster Updated by Dara Lind on July 15, 2014, 9:00 a.m. ET A Mexican child looks through the border fence. John Moore/Getty Congress and the Obama administration are scrambling to respond to the humanitarian crisis of 57,000 unaccompanied Central American children who’ve crossed the border […]


Powerful Portraits of Illegal Immigrants facing Deportation
May 27, 2014 Photographer David Harriman created a series entitled Mariposa in which he photographed illegal immigrants facing deportation back to Mexico. The portraits were taken at a in Nogales, Mexico, where they were sent from a processing center in Tuscan, Arizona. Concerning the setting, Harriman says “The irony of the name of the crossing Mariposa (Butterfly) seemed to perfectly evoke […]


Maria Woltjen Featured in Local Chicago News Paper
May 22, 2014 Maria Woltjen of University of Chicago Law School’s Young Center was featured in an a Wednesday Journal article. She discussed the importance of the Young Center’s mission and the enormity the of the issue of child immigration. Click here to view the article.


Jennifer Nagda Participates in Civil Society Consultation
March 31, 2014 The Young Center was invited to participate in a civil society consultation with the U.S. government on the issue of “Access to Justice.” The consultation took place in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the Universal Period Review (UPR) and the Convention to End Racial Discrimination (CERD) review of the United States government. This was […]


Maria Woltjen on WBEZ's Morning Shift
March 4, 2014 Maria Woltjen of University of Chicago Law School’s Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights joined Tony Sarabia of the Morning Shift today to discuss with details on how policies can be put in place to help ensure kids arriving in this country are not lost in the system. Maria highlights how The Young Center is […]


What a pair of shoes can tell us about South Sudan
February 4, 2014 Photographer Shannon Jensen has been documenting the crisis in South Sudan. Through her interactions with the hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees, Jensen found a way to bring their hardships to light. Many refugees didn’t have any shoes at all, but those that did had footwear with stories to tell. “I noticed there was a […]


First Focus Calls for Child Advocates in Immigration
January 31, 2014 First Focus has just released an article noting how the House GOP fails to adequately protect children in their stated immigration reform principles. In particular, First Focus calls for legal representation and Child Advocates for all unaccompanied immigrant minors. First Focus’s article is accessible in full here, and reproduced below: GOP Immigration Reform Principles Fall […]


Help the Young Center on #GivingTuesday
December 3, 2013 Dear friends, colleagues and supporters, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is participating in #GivingTuesday™ today, December 3rd. Initiated last year, #GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. We hope you’ll consider […]


TPS for Somali Nationals Extended
November 6, 2013 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just announced an 18 month  extension to the Temporary Protected Status of eligible Somali Nationals. Temporary Protected Status can be be granted to those non-citizens residing in the U.S. who are from a foreign country which has been deemed too unsafe for the residents to return to or unable […]


EPIC Is About To Celebrate Its 5th Birthday!
November 4, 2013 Our friend and partner EPIC (engaging philanthropy, inspiring creatives) is celebrating its 5th birthday! Since its inception, Epic has helped 34 nonprofits in Chicago and Minneapolis by assembling teams of professionals working in graphic design, advertising, marketing and public relations and pairing them with nonprofit organizations to provide pro bono marketing and programing services. They have been an invaluable help to the […]


European Roma Rights Centre Confronts Racial Profiling Against Roma Families
October 30, 2013 Recently In Ireland , several Roma children were inaccurately profiled as non-Roma because of their physical features and subsequently taken away from their families by police officers. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has criticized the racial profiling perpetrated by the police officers who took away these children.  They have clearly shown that the police […]


You're invited! The Young Center Co-sponsors a Community Conversation with Kirk Johnson
October 18, 2013 The Young Center, along with the Allstate Foundation and Facing History and Ourselves is co-sponsoring A Community Conversation with Kirk Johnson: “Exploring Issues of Civic Responsibility”.  The event will be held Wednesday, October 23 from 6:00–7:30 PM at Northwestern University’s Lincoln Hall located at 357 E. Chicago Avenue. Kirk Johnson is a prolific human rights advocate, subject of the […]


Children Alone and Lawyerless in a Strange Land
September 26, 2013 Via wsj.com: this is a repost of an article that appeared September 23, 2013, on page A15 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Children Alone and Lawyerless in a Strange Land.   Children Alone and Lawyerless in a Strange Land   We’ve seen 5-year-old immigrants in front of a […]


October 1, 2013: CHRC and The Young Center Children's Rights Issue Briefing
September 17, 2013   October 1, 2013, 4-6 pm CHRC AND THE YOUNG CENTER PRESENT Children’s Rights Issue Briefing Applying International Children’s Rights to Practice: Advancing Advocacy for Children Exploited for Labor or Sexual Services Please join speakers from Loyola University’s Center for the Human Rights of Children (CHRC), ECPAT-USA, and The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. The […]


Director Maria Woltjen to Testify on CIR
September 17, 2013 On September 23, 2013, Young Center director, Maria Woltjen, testified before the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the topic of Civil Rights Implications of Comprehensive Immigration Reform on Illinois’ Immigrant Communities. An outline of Woltjen’s testimony follows: For children, SB 744 does include some good new protections. But much […]


Kids and the Border
July 15, 2013 The Virginia Quarterly Review blog posts on kids and the border: detailing what happens to kids after they are detained and the Senate’s immigration bill, with quotes from Maria Woltjen, Director of the Young Center, and Jennifer Nagda, Policy Director. Click on the hyperlinks or the links below for the full story: First the Fence, Then the System, By […]


Historic Senate Bill
June 27, 2013 Every day, vulnerable children separated from their parents and families and held in federal facilities around the country are called into immigration courts where they stand alone, without an attorney beside them, before an immigration judge and across from a skilled, government trial attorney. Most of the children have come to the United States fleeing […]


NPR Features Young Center’s Namesake, Young Zheng Sullivan on The Afternoon Shift
June 4, 2013 Illegal border crossings into the U.S. have been in decline overall, but the number of children seized by border control has nearly tripled in recent years. Many unaccompanied children end up in Chicago, where agencies are scrambling to handle the load. WBEZ’s North Side bureau reporter Odette Yousef and Maria Woltjen, the director of The […]


Undocumented and alone, young immigrants land in Chicago
June 3, 2013 The Young Center’s Director, Maria Woltjen, speaks to WBEZ about some of the challenges unaccompanied minors face. You can listen to the story here.


The Young Center quoted in Newsweek's The Daily Beast
April 11, 2013 Undocumented Kids Crossing the U.S. Border Alone in Increasing Numbers Illegal immigration may be down, but the number of children coming into the U.S. on their own is soaring—and many are deported without a lawyer. The Young Center’s Director, Maria Woltjen, was quoted for this article in The Daily Beast concerning the scarcity of lawyers […]


Young Center Launches New Website
April 10, 2013 Do things look a little different? That’s because the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights has just launched a brand new website! With all-new, incredible designs from EPIC, and development done by the local Chicago firm, Visible, we’re proud to announce the arrival of our new and improved, modern website. Click around and explore the […]


MacArthur Foundation Awards Grant to the Young Center
March 19, 2013 The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago has received a two-year grant from the MacArthur Foundation to spearhead changes in federal immigration policy and practices toward children. For nine years, the Young Center has called for a restructuring of the federal immigration system so that all children—especially those separated from […]


The Young Center Hosts its Annual Chicago Benefit
March 19, 2013 On April 11, 2013, the Young Center will host its annual benefit at the National Museum of Mexican Art. The keynote speaker at this year’s event will be award-winning journalist and author, Mona Eltahawy. Ms. Eltahawy is an Egyptian-American journalist whose pieces have been published in media across the world. In 2012, she was named […]


TVPRA Passes Congress!
March 7, 2013 On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed into law the final version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which incorporates the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). Section 47 of the TVRPA provides for the establishment of Child Advocate programs throughout the country over the next four years (at present, Child Advocate services are […]


The Young Center Expands to Texas!
February 7, 2013 Thanks to your support, we’re excited to announce that the Young Center has opened an office in Harlingen, at the very tip of South Texas, on the border with Mexico. Today, there are more than 700 unaccompanied immigrant children in federal custody in South Texas. Kristin Love, our newest staff attorney, arrived in Harlingen on […]


Heading To Capital Hill
November 11, 2012 The Young Center will send a delegation to Washington, D.C. next month to discuss immigration reform with … (insert full article here, or link to article here).