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Isabel and the rest of us at the Isabel Allende Foundation recently met up with KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), and we came away as impressed and inspired as ever. You may remember that KIND, which represents immigrant children in court and helps them gain asylum here in the United States, was the deserving recipient of last year’s Isabel Allende Foundation Espíritu award, which is given annually to organizations that support causes Isabel feels strongly about.
The services KIND provides are critical. According to group’s website, “Over 100,000 children came alone to the United States in the last two years. More than 50 percent of these immigrant and refugee children do not have attorneys to represent them in their deportation proceedings. This humanitarian crisis of Central American children at our border remains a due process crisis in which thousands of children are at risk of being returned to great harm, even death.”
KIND’s work seems to be without end, and the flow of children and other asylum seekers from Central America fleeing poverty and danger is unending. KIND President Wendy Young has described these children as some of the most vulnerable in the world.
Here is the good news, however: 90 percent of KIND’s child clients do win their cases and achieve legal status and protection. That is why we need to continue to support KIND, and we hope their work will inspire our readers to speak up in support of legislation recently introduced by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California that would mandate counsel for unaccompanied children and other vulnerable individuals.
The refugee crisis seems to be in the news often, both in Europe and here in the United States. I always feel more hopeful when I learn about people helping. I am grateful for the kindness and good work being done on behalf of these vulnerable children.