Pro Bono Work for Children Seeking Refuge in United States

Thousands of children fleeing danger and abuse in their home countries seek refuge in the United States. Our pro bono attorneys work with children relocated to Tennessee to establish Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS), protection granted to children who cross the border unlawfully and have been abused, abandoned or neglected. In Memphis, our attorneys are working in partnership with Welcome South, supporting these children as Guardians ad Litem in the Shelby County Juvenile Court process. Nashville lawyers are representing children in juvenile court referred from Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors (TJFON) to obtain predicate orders required to file for SIJS.

Our clients include nine-year-old and seven-year-old brothers from Honduras facing death threats because of their father’s gang relationship; a seven-year-old girl whose home in Mexico was burned by cartel members; and thirteen- and fourteen-year-old sisters fleeing physical abuse in Nigeria. Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Allison Acker, who coordinated a training to kickoff the project, noted, “Our representation begins a process that provides security and home for children who come to this country when they have no place else to turn. It is legal work that makes a real difference for the future of these children and our communities.”