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APRIL 2015  

SUMMIT REPORT  ON   CENTRAL   AMERICAN   CHILDREN   SEEKING   REFUGE   A  W AS HING TON,  D C   REGIONAL  RESPONSE   TO  SUPPORT   CHILDREN   FLEEING  VIOLENCE  


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SUMMIT REPORT  ON  CENTRAL  AMERICAN  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE  

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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The DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  in  Support  of  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America  would  like  to   thank  the  summit  conveners  for  their  leadership  in  organizing  this  much  needed  gathering  and   assembling  this  report.  We  are  deeply  grateful  to  the  below  mentioned  individuals  and   organizations  that,  in  a  grassroots  spirit,  mobilized  their  resources  to  plan  and  carry  out  the  Summit   on  Children  Seeking  Refuge.     Abel  Nuñez  (CARECEN)   Ana  Negoescu  (CARECEN)   Sarah  Block  (Ayuda)   Eric  Macias  (LAYC/MMYC)   Suyanna  Barker  (La  Clínica  Del  Pueblo)   Diana  Guelespe  (Georgetown  University  Center  for  Social  Justice  Research,  Teaching  and  Service)   Marcy  Campos  (American  University  Center  for  Community  Engagement  and  Service)   Beth  Perry   Fani  Cruz  (Catholic  Charities  USA)   Maryland  State  Delegate  Ana  Sol  Gutierrez   Sarah  Palazzolo   Ana  María  Delgado     CARECEN  interns  Massiel  Perez  and  Stefanie  Moran  provided  important  support  with  event   logistics  and  registration,  and  centralized  information  for  this  report.       We  would  like  to  acknowledge  the  DC  Mayor’s  Office  on  Latino  Affairs  for  their  continued  support   of  direct  services  and  advocacy  on  behalf  of  Central  American  children  who  flee  violence  in  their   home  countries  and  make  the  District  of  Columbia  their  new  home.       Thanks  are  also  due  to  Dean  Katherine  S.  Broderick  of  the  University  of  the  District  of  Columbia   David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law  who  graciously  hosted  the  summit  and  Jenn  Laskin  from  the  UDC   National  Lawyers  Guild  who  was  instrumental  in  helping  us  secure  the  space  for  the  summit  and   Coalition  meetings  free  of  charge.  The  event  was  broadcasted  live  by  Marvin  Contreras  of   tvesamerica.com.       The  two  panelists,  Alexis  Stoumbelis  (CISPES-­‐DC)  and  Abel  Nuñez  (CARECEN)  discussed  historic   causes  of  migration  of  Central  American  children,  current  policy  context  and  needed  advocacy.     In  addition,  the  Coalition  is  deeply  grateful  for  the  important  contributions  made  by  the  following   group  discussion  facilitators,  who  are  expert  practitioners  in  their  fields  and  who  provided  structure   to  the  group  dialogue,  guided  the  discussion  and  ensured  that  each  group  had  an  effective  and   fruitful  conversation  during  the  summit.  The  note  takers  provided  us  with  a  summary  of  each   facilitated  group  discussion  for  this  report.    


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SUMMIT REPORT  ON  CENTRAL  AMERICAN  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE  

EDUCATION Facilitators:   Melvin  William,  ESOL  Chair,  Prince  George’s  County  Public  Schools,  Northwestern  High  School   Maria  Alejandra  Salas  Baltuano,  SMART-­‐DC  Education  Organizer,  Many  Languages  One  Voice     Note-­‐takers:   Alexis  Stoumbelis,  CISPES     HEALTH   Facilitators:   Alicia  Wilson,  Executive  Director,  La  Clínica  Del  Pueblo   Jessica  Schroeder,  MD,  Medical  Director  Adams  Morgan  Site,  Mary’s  Center     Note-­‐takers:   Ilana  Nagib,  La  Clínica  Del  Pueblo     MENTAL  HEALTH   Facilitator:   Viviana  Azar,  Director  of  Clinical  Services,  YMCA  Youth  &  Family  Services   Note-­‐takers:   Catalina  Sol,    Chief  Programs  Officer,  La  Clínica  del  Pueblo     BEYOND  THE  CLASSROOM   Facilitators:   Luis  Cardona,  Montgomery  County  Youth  Violence  Prevention  Coordinator,  Montgomery  County   Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services   Rachel  Gittinger,  Citizenship  and  Leadership  Coordinator,  CARECEN   Note-­‐takers:   Sarah  Palazzolo     LEGAL  SERVICES   Facilitators:   Sarah  Block,  Program  Initiatives  Coordinator,  Ayuda   Rebecca  Walters,  Staff  Attorney  (Falls  Church,  VA  office,  Ayuda)   Note-­‐Takers:   Elizabeth  Lincoln,  KIND   Dulce  Sotelo,  CARECEN     SOCIAL  SERVICES   Facilitators:   Br.  Steve  Herro,  Manager  of  Mission  Resources  and  Data,  Catholic  Charities  USA   Jasmin  Benab,  Youth  Violence  Outreach  Response  Manager,  Collaborative  Solutions  for   Communities   Note-­‐takers:   Diana  Guelespe,  Georgetown  University  Center  for  Social  Justice  Research,  Teaching  and  Service    


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This report  was  written  based  on  the  group  discussion  notes  and  post-­‐summit  evaluation  survey   responses,  and  was  edited  by:  Kate  Paarlberg-­‐Kvam,  Sarah  Block,  Beth  Perry,  Marcy  Campos,  Eric   Macias,  and  Ana  Negoescu.  Kayla  Corcoran,  Communications  Specialist  at  Georgetown  University’s   Center  for  Social  Justice  Research,  Teaching  and  Service,  contributed  her  creative  talent  and   designed  the  report.       In  addition  to  their  staff  time  and  resources,  the  following  organizations  contributed  to  expenses   related  to  editing,  printing  and  release  of  this  report:  Ayuda,  CARECEN,  La  Clínica  del  Pueblo,  Latin   American  Youth  Center  (LAYC),  and  Mary’s  Center.     A  copy  of  this  report  is  available  online  at  http://www.caracendc.org/resources/SummitReport2015     Please  direct  any  inquiries  regarding  this  report  to:   Abel  Nuñez,  CARECEN   1460  Columbia  Road  NW,  Suite  C-­‐1     Washington,  DC  20009   (202)  328-­‐9799  

 


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TABLE OF  CONTENTS   ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS             I.  EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY             II.  INTRODUCTION             A.  THE  COALITION                       B.  THE  SUMMIT  ON  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE             III.  KEY  FINDINGS  AND  RECOMMENDATIONS                 A.  OVERARCHING  CHALLENGES                   B.  PROMISING  PRACTICES                   1.  Education                     2.  Legal  Services                     3.  Social  Services                     4.  Beyond  the  Classroom                 5.  Health                       6.  Mental  Health                       C.  OVERARCHING  RECOMMENDATIONS                 1.  Providers’  Professional  Recommendations               2.  Providers’  Outreach  and  Accessibility  Recommendations           3.  Policy-­‐related  Recommendations               D.  AREA-­‐SPECIFIC  RECOMMENDATIONS               1.  Education                     2.  Legal  Services                     3.  Social  Services                     4.  Beyond  the  Classroom                 5.  Health                         6.  Mental  Health                                         IV.  APPENDICES                         Appendix  1:  Press  Coverage  of  Efforts  and  Actions  of  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA                                                                                Coalition  in  Support  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America     Appendix  2:  Fact  Sheet  of  Children  Seeking  Refuge             Appendix  3:  Resources                     Appendix  4:  List  of  Participating  Organizations               Appendix  5:  What  Attendees  Are  Saying  About  the  Summit        

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I. EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY   In  the  summer  of  2014,  the  U.S.  Border  Patrol  apprehended  over  68,000  unaccompanied  minors   from  Honduras,  Guatemala  and  El  Salvador  who  crossed  into  the  United  States  after  fleeing  the   endemic  violence  (gangs,  drug  cartels,  state-­‐armed  actors,  and  household  abuse),  social  exclusion,   corruption,  and  institutional  incapacity  in  their  home  countries.1  In  the  past  year,  over  7,000  of  the   children  detained  at  our  southern  border  have  been  relocated  to  the  Washington  Metropolitan   Area  by  the  Office  of  Refugee  Resettlement.2  They  are  now  a  part  of  our  communities  and  face  an   acute  need  for  coordinated,  highly  individualized  services  to  address  their  immigration  status,   education,  health  and  wellness,  trauma  and  stress,  and  other  identified  needs.     This  report  by  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  in  Support  of  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America   (the  Coalition)  summarizes  the  presentations,  experiences,  views  and  recommendations  shared  by   over  100  professionals  who  attended  the  Summit  on  Children  Seeking  Refuge,  held  on  January  22,   2015  at  the  University  of  the  District  of  Columbia  Law  School  in  Washington,  D.C.  The  summit   brought  together  teachers,  social  workers,  medical  professionals,  counselors  and  therapists,   advocates  and  organizers,  faculty  and  researchers,  local  and  state  government  representatives,   attorneys,  and  elected  officials  who  serve  children  seeking  refuge  and  who  engaged  in  facilitated   group  discussions.  The  groups  were  organized  around  six  main  areas  of  service:  legal,  education,   health,  mental  health,  beyond-­‐the-­‐classroom  (after-­‐school  and  recreational  programming),  and   social  services.       This  publication  makes  three  important  contributions:  (1)  it  draws  attention  to  gaps  and  challenges   in  the  provision  of  services  to  immigrant  children;  (2)  it  identifies  promising  practices  thus  far;  and   (3)  it  puts  forth  recommendations  for  improvements  in  services.       With  this  report,  the  Coalition  aims  to:   • Provide  succinct  background  information  about  the  migration  of  unaccompanied  children   from  Central  America,  including  historical  context  and  relevant  policies;   • Encourage  collaboration  across  agencies  that  serve  immigrant  children  and  families;   • Inform  future  advocacy  for  an  expansion  of  services  based  on  the  challenges  identified,  and   contribute  to  a  knowledge  base  for  new  and  improved  laws  at  municipal  and  state  levels;   • Share  educational  and  technical  resources  to  aid  professionals  who  work  directly  with  the   children;  and   • Promote  promising  practices  among  service  providers  to  improve  existing  services.     In  analyzing  the  input  from  participants  in  the  group  discussion,  the  Coalition  identified  seven  main   obstacles  to  receiving  services  faced  by  the  children  seeking  refuge  and  their  families:     • Limited  English  proficiency;     • Lack  of  understanding  of  the  steps  involved  in  case  management  (i.e.  intake,  appointments,   follow-­‐up,  etc.);     • Misinformation  regarding  what  legal  remedies  are  available;  


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• Limited financial  resources;     • Difficulty  in  providing  necessary  documentation  to  enroll  in  school  or  health  insurance   (where  available);   • A  high  risk  of  gang  or  drug  network  involvement;   • Trauma  caused  by  the  dangerous  journey;  and   • Stress  caused  by  family  reunification  after  a  long  separation.     Service  providers  face  a  host  of  challenges  as  well,  including:   • Insufficient  bilingual  and  bi-­‐cultural  staff;   • Inadequate  training  and  insufficient  professional  development  opportunities  for  existing   staff  of  service  agencies;   • A  lack  of  cultural  awareness  and  knowledge  of  migration  issues  among  staff;   • The  limitations  of  immigration  laws;   • Insufficient  funding  and  limited  budgets;   • Limited  youth-­‐centered  and  youth-­‐driven  programming;  and   • A  tendency  to  use  a  one-­‐size-­‐fits-­‐all  approach  to  service  provision.   The  key  recommendations  detailed  in  this  report  are  based  on  the  promising  practices  shared  by   members  of  organizations  present  at  the  summit,  and  include:     • Increase  training  opportunities  for  staff  who  have  major  contact  with  the  children;   • Recruit  more  bilingual  and  bicultural  staff;   • Establish  child  advocate  or  navigator  programs  to  help  guide  children  and  families  through   specific  services  and  promote  coordination  of  services;   • Conduct  culturally  adequate  outreach  and  in-­‐language  advertisement;   • Create  a  platform  to  network,  coordinate,  share  resources,  recruit  volunteers,   mobilize/organize  in  support  of  the  children,  and  develop  advocacy  and  funding  strategies;     • Advocate  for  language  access  laws  where  they  do  not  exist,  and  ensure  their  enforcement;   • Collaborate  with  academic  institutions  to  analyze  data  to  determine  gaps  in  services  and   inform  future  funding  requests;  and   • Create  a  uniform  intake  process  across  agencies.                


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II. INTRODUCTION    

During 2014,  an  unprecedented  68,000  Central  American   children  were  detained  at  the  United  States-­‐Mexico   border  as  a  result  of  social  exclusion,  violence  (gangs,   drug  cartels,  state-­‐armed  actors,  and  household  abuse),   corruption,  and  institutional  incapacity  in  the  Northern   Triangle  region  (El  Salvador,  Guatemala,  and  Honduras).   Our  region  received  an  estimated  7,000  unaccompanied   minors  –  approximately  15%  of  the  total  number  of  youth   that  arrived  to  the  U.S.  this  year  –  due  to  the  sizeable   Central  American  community  already  present  in  our  area.   Most  of  the  youth  that  came  to  this  area  were  united  with   a  family  member.    

Major towns  where  children  detained  from  Jan.  1  to  May  14,  2015  came  from  

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A . T HE   C O AL IT IO N     During  the  summer  months  of  2014,  different  community  actors   in  the  Washington,  D.C.  Metropolitan  Area  (DMV)  decided  to   come  together  and  discuss  the  surge  in  unaccompanied  minors   arriving  to  the  United  States.    As  a  result,  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition   in  Support  of  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America  was   created.    The  Coalition’s  vision  was  to  create  a  plan  to  ease  the   impact  of  the  humanitarian  crisis,  particularly  for  the  youth  and   families  in  our  region.  The  group  brought  together  public   officials,  not-­‐for-­‐profit  organizations,  educational  institutions,   and  concerned  community  members  and  met  frequently  to   discuss  ways  in  which  we  could  advocate  and  provide  needed   services  to  newly  arrived  children.    Since  that  time,  our  Coalition   has  been  proactive  in  supporting  unaccompanied  minors  through   concerted  efforts  to  pressure  municipal  and  state  governments,   inspired  by  our  belief  that  protecting  children  and  vulnerable   families  should  be  a  main  priority  of  our  society.3          

“ H a y m u c ha   vio le ncia   en   m i   paí s,   m atand o   ge nte .     L a   d if i cu l ta d   d e   l a  p re se nci a   d e   l os   ga ng s,   y   tam bi é n   mi   papá   l e   es ta ba   pe ga nd o   a   m i  m a m á .”   “ The r e   i s   too  m u c h   vio le nce  in  m y   co u ntr y;  p eop le   be i ng   k il le d .    Th er e   i s   a  p re se nce  o f   ga n gs,   and   m y   f athe r  w as   hi tti ng   m y   m oth er .”     –  1 3-­‐ ye ar-­‐ol d   G u a tem a l an   you th  

The Coalition  began  a  call-­‐to-­‐action  campaign  to  increase  the   visibility  of  this  issue  and  increase  support  for  the  youth  arriving   from  Central  America.  The  Coalition  hosted  weekly  vigils  in  front   of  the  White  House  from  July  to  November  of  2014.    This   community  mobilization  and  advocacy  effort  was  centered  on   four  important  demands:      

1) The prompt  release  of  children  from  detention  centers   around  the  country  where  they  faced  inhumane   conditions;     2) The  provision  of  legal  representation  for  all  children  to   ensure  due  process  and  protection  of  their  human  rights;     3) A  halt  to  the  expedited  deportation  of  children;  and     4) The  prompt  reunification  of  families.        

Furthermore, leaders  from  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  are  part  of  an   ongoing  dialogue  with  policymakers  and  Administration  officials   and  have  participated  in  meetings  hosted  by  the  White  House.   The  Coalition  has  issued  press  releases  and  worked  with  the   media  to  draw  attention  to  the  issue  of  children  fleeing  violence   in  Central  America.        

Lastly, the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  in  Support  of  Children  Fleeing   Violence  in  Central  America  hosted  a  Summit  in  Washington,  D.C.   to  inform  and  discuss  the  status  of  our  efforts  as  an  organized   community,  six  months  after  the  influx  of  unaccompanied  minors   to  the  region  and  the  formation  of  the  Coalition.  


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B . T HE   SU MM IT  O N  C H IL D R E N   S EE K IN G  R E F U G E   In  a  grassroots  effort,  The  Summit  on  Children  Seeking  Refuge  was  organized  by  a  committed   group  of  individuals  and  organizations,  members  of  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  in  Support  of  Children   Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America.  The  intent  of  this  group  was  to  create  a  space  in  which   members  of  the  Coalition,  activists,  direct  service  providers,  academics,  advocacy  organizations,   government  officials,  and  concerned  community  members  could  discuss  challenges  faced  by  the   children  and  service  providers  in  the  past  six  to  eight  months;  share  promising  practices  in  regards   to  serving  newly  arrived  children;  identify  gaps  in  services  for  youth  and  families  that  need  to  be   addressed;  call  attention  to  the  need  for  additional  resources  to  improve  existing  services;  and   lastly,  brainstorm  initiatives  and  issue  recommendations  to  continue  to  improve  the  youth’s  lives   now  that  they  are  part  of  our  communities.           To  achieve  these  goals  during  the  summit,  we  created  the  following  format:  first,  two  panelists   explained  the  historical  context  of  Central  American  children’s  and  families’  migration  patterns  to   the  United  States  and  articulated  some  of  the  current  policies  affecting  unaccompanied  children   once  they  have  entered  in  the  United  States.  The  panel  helped  contextualize  the  conversations  that   followed  in  the  different  facilitated  discussion  breakout  groups.       There  were  six  groups  formed  around  the  following  areas  of  service:  legal  services,  social  services,   health,  mental  health,  education,  and  beyond-­‐the-­‐classroom.  Two  facilitators  in  each  group  helped   guide  a  productive  conversation  about  challenges,  successful  practice  models,  and   recommendations  to  overcome  obstacles  faced  both  by  service  providers  and  youth  seeking  refuge   from  violence  in  Central  America.    After  the  ninety-­‐minute  group  session,  each  group  provided  a   brief  overview  highlighting  the  main  points  of  their  conversation.    


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II. K EY   F INDINGS   &   RECOMMENDATIONS   The   f ollowing   s ections   compile   t he   k ey   f indings   and   recommendations   t hat   s temmed   f rom   t he   d iscussions   i n   t he   breakout   g roups   d uring   t he   S ummit   o n   C entral   A merican   Children  S eeking   R efuge.   F indings   a nd   r ecommendations   include  t hose   p ertinent   t o   t wo   m ain   audiences:   p roviders   and   children   s eeking   refuge   ( CSR), 4   a s   w ell   as   t heir   f amilies.  I t   should   b e   k ept   i n   m ind  t hat   a ll   p oints   m ade   w ere   aiming   f or   a   common   g oal   –   t he   s afety   and   w ell-­‐being   o f   C SR   a nd  t heir   families.   Many   o f   t hese   f indings   and   r ecommendations   are   based   o n   w hat   h as   w orked   i n   a   s pecific   c ommunity.     W e   w ere   fortunate   t o   r eceive   b road   i nput   f rom   d ifferent   d isciplines,   backgrounds,   s chools,   and   o rganizations,   w hich   m eans   t hat   what   m ay   w ork   i n   o ne   community   m ay  n ot   w ork   i n   a nother   –   but   i t   m ay  n evertheless   s park   i deas   f or   t he   creation  o f   initiatives   t hat   w ill   be   s uccessful.  

A . O V E RA R C H IN G  C H AL L EN G E S  

What follows  are  the  core  issues  that  formed  the  discussion  at  the  summit,  which  may  have   implications  for  the  groups’  recommendations  and  the  future.    These  include:     A  lack  of  adequate  training  and  a  need  for  stronger  professional  development  that  prepares   people  to  work  with  CSR.  Judges,  lawyers,  teachers,  mental  health  and  health  care  professionals,   though  trained  in  their  fields,  are  not  necessarily  prepared  to  provide  culturally  competent  services   for  CSR  or  the  immigrant  population  in  general.  There  is  a  critical  need  for  training  for  all   practitioners  providing  direct  assistance  to  CSR  on  the  root  causes  of  their  migration,  their   immigrant  experience,  as  well  as  the  trauma,  stress  and  depression  they  endure  when  they  arrive.   The  shortage  of  trained  professionals  indicates  a  need  to  recruit  volunteers  to  provide  pro  bono   services,  while  at  the  same  time  understanding  that  some  needs  cannot  be  fulfilled  by  volunteers.         For  example,  while  there  has  been  interest  from  pro  bono  lawyers,  they  often  lack  specialized   knowledge  required  to  represent  youth.    Training  others  is  time-­‐consuming  and  takes  time  away   from  expert  attorneys  with  already  full  caseloads.       A  lack  of  bilingual  and  bicultural  professionals  to  address  the  need  for  services  and  supports.    A   second  major  challenge  is  the  insufficient  number  of  bilingual  and  bicultural  staff  among  service   providers.  Often,  potentially  qualified  applicants  are  turned  away  due  to  the  automatic  screening   process  that  eliminates  applicants  based  on  predetermined  words  and  phrases  used  as  the  


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qualifying criteria.  Frequently,  for  example,  hiring  personnel   overlook  those  who  do  not  have  specific  degrees,  and  thus  failing   to  take  advantage  of  years  of  experience  in  a  certain  field.   Additionally,  the  high  cost  of  licensure  and  masters’  degree   programs  often  prevents  potential  applicants  from  entering   either  the  teaching  or  social  service  professions.    There  is  a  need   for  bilingual  and  bicultural  staff  throughout  institutional   structures.  Examples  include  a  serious  lack  of  trained  legal   interpreters  or  bilingual  staff,  such  as  clerks  in  immigration   courts,  school  security  guards,  and  main  office  staff.    This  results   in  an  inability  to  communicate  important  information,  increases   stress  and  tension,  and  may  give  the  false  impression  that  the   student  or  family  is  either  not  listening,  not  following   instructions,  or  even  that  they  do  not  care.             Inaccessibility  of  services.  This  challenge  was  identified  in  the   majority  of  the  breakout  groups.    Many  service  providers  conduct   inadequate  outreach  or  have  limited  publicity  in  Spanish,   resulting  in  families  not  receiving  information  needed  to  obtain   services.  For  example,  many  families  are  not  familiar  with  Early   Childhood  Services.  According  to  the  DC  Language  Access  Act  of   2004,  Limited  English  Proficient  (LEP)  and  Non  English  Proficient   (NEP)  individuals  have  the  right  to  access  government  services  in   a  language  they  are  proficient  in,  through  live  or  phone   interpretation  and  translation  of  essential  documents.      Although   this  law  exists  in  the  District  of  Columbia,  it  could  be   strengthened  and  better  enforced.  The  Language  Access  for   Education  Amendment  Act  of  2015,  currently  in  the  D.C.  City   Council,  seeks  to  amend  the  aforementioned  law  to  address  the   lack  of  ESL-­‐certified  staff  in  schools  with  a  significant  population   of  English  Language  Learners.  The  weaknesses  of  the  D.C.   Language  Access  Act  and  the  absence  of  policies  in  Maryland  and   Virginia  result  in  families  not  gaining  access  to  needed  services.   Language  access  is  vital,  and  participants  in  our  discussions   specifically  identified  the  need  to  have  access  to  indigenous   languages,  as  well  as  Spanish.       Untrained  frontline  staff  members  have  requested  inappropriate   information,  such  as  Social  Security  numbers  (which  CSR   generally  do  not  have,  at  least  not  when  they  first  arrive)  in  order   to  register  a  child  for  school.    An  exorbitant  amount  of   paperwork  is  needed  to  enroll  in  school,  in  a  health  clinic,  or  to   receive  mental  health  services.    Families  often  do  not  return  to   access  these  essential  services  if  they  are  unable  to  provide  the  

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PAGE   8   “ Y o   n o   c o n o c í   a   m i   m a m á .   L a   c o n o c í   c u a n d o   t e n í a   o n c e   a ñ o s ;   e l l a   l l e g ó   a   E l   S a l v a d o r   a   v i s i t a r m e .   Y   a   m i   p a p á   t a m p o c o ,   a   m i   p a p á   l o   c o n o c í   c u a n d o   v i n e   [ … ]   C u a n d o   v i n e   a c á ,   f u e   d i f e r e n t e   p o r q u e   c o n   l a   q u e   y o   m e   c r i é   f u e   m i   a b u e l a .   E n t o n c e s — d e j a r l a   a   e l l a   f u e   m u y   f e o .   Y   l u e g o   v e n i r   a c á   [ … ]   E n t o n c e s   c o n   [ m i   h e r m a n a ]   s í   t e n í a   m u c h a   c o n f i a n z a .   P e r o   c o n   m i   m a m á ,   n u n c a   h a b í a   v i v i d o   c o n   e l l a .   E n t o n c e s   f u e   [ … ]   ¿ c ó m o   v a   a   s e r   e s o ?   ¿ c ó m o   l o   m a n e j o ?   ¿ q u é   h a g o ?   ¿ c ó m o   m e   d e b o   c o m p o r t a r   c o n   e l l a ? ”   “ I   h a d   n e v e r   m e t   m y   m o m .   I   m e t   h e r   w h e n   I   w a s   e l e v e n ;   s h e   c a m e   t o   E l   S a l v a d o r   t o   v i s i t   m e .   A n d   m y   d a d   e i t h e r ,   I   m e t   h i m   w h e n   I   c a m e .   W h e n   I   g o t   h e r e ,   i t   w a s   d i f f e r e n t   b e c a u s e   t h e   p e r s o n   w h o   r a i s e d   m e   w a s   m y   g r a n d m o t h e r .   S o   l e a v i n g   h e r   b e h i n d   w a s   h o r r i b l e .   A n d   t h e n   c o m i n g   h e r e   [ … ]   S o   w i t h   [ m y   s i s t e r ]   I   h a d   a   g o o d   r e l a t i o n s h i p .     B u t   w i t h   m y   m o t h e r ,   I   h a d   n e v e r   l i v e d   w i t h   h e r .   S o   i t   w a s   l i k e ,   w h a t   i s   t h i s   g o i n g   t o   b e   l i k e ?   H o w   s h o u l d   I   n a v i g a t e   t h i s ?   W h a t   d o   I   d o ?   H o w   s h o u l d   I   b e h a v e   a r o u n d   h e r ? ”   –   1 6   y e a r   o l d   y o u n g   w o m a n   f r o m   E l   S a l v a d o r  

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information requested  because  they  fear  the  repercussions  of   not  producing  requested  documents.    Processes  of  enrollment,   documentation,  and  bureaucracy  are  very  different  from  those  in   clinics  used  by  families  in  their  countries  of  origin.    Sometimes   families  incorrectly  believe  ICE  (immigration)  will  be  contacted   and  fear  deportation  if  they  complete  all  the  paperwork   requirements  to  gain  access  to  services.           Limited  funding  and  budgets.  Schools  often  lack  sufficient   funding  to  provide  wraparound  services  which  would  positively   affect  CSR.  Nonprofit  organizations’  funding  often  depends  on   meeting  specific  outcomes,  and  as  a  result  they  may  select  youth   who  are  less  “at  risk”  to  enroll  in  their  programs  in  order  to   guarantee  better  results.  Consequently,  those  who  need  the   services  most  are  not  receiving  them.  Moreover,  meeting  the   high  demand  for  legal  services  far  exceeds  the  availability  of   affordable  and  capable  attorneys.    Local  health  and  mental  health   service  providers  are  overwhelmed  and  there  is  inadequate   funding  and  infrastructure  to  increase  their  capacity.  Maryland   and  Virginia  do  not  have  health  insurance  available  for   undocumented  immigrants,  which  makes  it  even  harder  for   families  to  gain  access  to  and  pay  for  health  care  services  because   they  are  too  expensive,  with  and  without  insurance.  An   unfortunate  and  dangerous  consequence  is  that  families  can  only   gain  access  to  medical  care  in  emergencies  and  not  for  preventive   services.       Insufficient  relevant  support  in  English  as  a  Second  Language   (ESL)  programs.    While  we  recognize  the  challenge  of  dealing   with  different  educational  levels,  budgets,  and  staffing,  ESL   teachers  need  to  be  qualified  to  teach  all  subjects.  Tutoring  is   available  in  some  communities,  but  a  lack  of  cultural  awareness   and  experience  working  with  immigrant  communities  makes  it   less  effective.    Sometimes  students  find  homework  too  difficult   to  do  on  their  own  and  there  is  insufficient  help  in  the  classroom.   Many  of  the  recently  arrived  students  are  reluctant  learners  due   to  the  stress  caused  by  their  journeys  and  family  circumstances.     Stressful  impact  of  family  reunification.  Many  CSR  are  living  with   parents  they  have  not  seen  in  years,  with  new  brothers  and   sisters  they  have  never  met,  or  are  staying  with  extended  family   members  they  hardly  know.    After  the  initial  joy  of  reunification,   the  stress  of  dropping  into  a  family’s  life  after  such  a  long   absence,  as  well  as  the  economic  stress  this  new  family  member  


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creates, can  spark  tension  between  CSR  and  family  members.    Often  there  is  resentment  after  such   a  long  separation.    In  cases  of  unsuccessful  family  reunification,  there  is  a  lack  of  support  services  to   support  homeless  youth.  LGBTQ  persecution  was  also  identified  as  an  issue  in  some  family   reunifications.     High  risk  of  gang  recruitment/involvement.  There  is  a  need  to  strategize  about  gang  prevention   and  mediation.  Better  communication  and  coordination  between  schools,  particularly  in  the  same   or  a  nearby  neighborhood,  could  help  prevent  potential  violence.  For  instance,  schools  should  share   information  on  known  gang-­‐related  incidents  and  work  together  on  a  mediation  plan,  along  with   law  enforcement  and  other  relevant  government  agencies.     Many  CSR  fled  gang  violence,  forced  recruitment  and  extortion.    Although  the  level  and  type  of   gang  activity  in  our  region  is  different  than  in  Central  America,  the  fear  and  trauma  that  the  youth   experienced  in  the  countries  of  origin  does  not  go  away  quickly.  In  fact,  it  can  be  triggered  by   incidents  of  violence  in  the  schools  and  community.  Many  of  those  who  attend  schools  in  the  area   have  commented  that  though  there  is  gang  activity  in  the  area,  it  is  nothing  like  from  where  they   fled.  Though  there  is  some  isolated  work  in  different  schools  and  a  few  community  agencies  trying   to  address  this,  there  is  no  unified  coalition  of  thought  and  action.  This  negatively  affects  the  young   people’s  transition,  adjustment  and  ability  to  feel  safe.               Complexity  of  medical  and  mental  health  needs  of  CSR.  Obtaining  an  accurate  and  complete  health   history  is  often  very  difficult.  This  affects  the  development  of  immediate  and  long-­‐term  health  care   plans  and  the  accurate  completion  of  required  school  forms.  Health  practitioners  are  dealing  with   injuries  and  illnesses  that  include  anemia,  STDs,  sprained  ankles,  injuries  from  barbed  wire,  diabetes,   high  rates  of  chronic  diseases  not  addressed  in  countries  of  origin,  post-­‐traumatic  stress  disorder,   sleep  disorders,  lack  of  appetite,  an  inability  to  concentrate  (especially  among  children),  parasites,   scabies,  and  lice.  Lastly,  young  low-­‐income  immigrants  also  experience  extreme  fatigue  from  being   exploited  at  their  jobs.     Similarly,  there  are  barriers  to  meeting  the  mental  health  needs  of  CSR  and  their  families.  For   instance,  in  Central  America  there  is  a  strong  stigma  surrounding  mental  illness  and  using  mental   health  services,  which  causes  resistance  among  many  youth  and  families  who  might  consider   seeking  mental  health  services  in  the  United  States.  Also,  the  current  mental  health  system  in  the  


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United States  relies  on  a   lengthy  intake  and  diagnosis   process,  and  rigid   requirements  for  keeping   appointments.  Flexibility  in   providing  services  is  essential   for  a  population  who  has   experienced  extensive  trauma,   in  order  to  provide  holistic  and   timely  support  to  young   patients  and  their  parents,   guardians,  and  foster  families.   There  are  also  logistical  issues   that  limit  CSR  access  to   medical  and  mental  health   services,  such  as  a  lack  of   transportation,  scheduling   conflicts  with  schools,  a  lack  of  economic  resources  to  afford  these  services,  and  limited  support   from  family  members.       Discussions  at  the  summit  pointed  that  there  are  unique  and  serious  issues  experienced  particularly   by  women  and  girls,  which  include  violence,  exploitation,  and  rape  during  the  trip  to  the  U.S.  In   addition,  there  have  been  reports  of  mothers’  male  partners  abusing  younger  women  in  the  family.   Women  in  particular,  who  are  often  waiting  to  be  reunited  with  their  children,  report  experiencing   strong  anxiety  due  to  not  knowing  whether  they  will  cross  the  border  and  will  reach  their  final   destination  safely.     Systemic  limitations.  Coordinating  and  prioritizing  services  presents  a  tremendous  challenge  to   service  providers  due  to  the  complexity  of  the  issues  being  addressed  and  the  uniqueness  of  each   CSR  and  family.  Health  professionals,  for  example,  understand  the  need  for  and  urgency  of  other   services—e.g.  legal  aid  and  school  enrollment—but  expressed  concern  about  addressing  patients’   immediate  and  long-­‐term  health  and  mental  health  needs.           Legal  professionals  and  others  are  frustrated  with  the  limitations  of  the  law;  many  children  have   compelling  reasons  to  stay  in  the  United  States,  as  well  as  legitimate  threats  to  their  safety  upon   return  to  their  home  country,  but  do  not  qualify  for  any  form  of  immigration  relief  under  current   law.    In  addition,  some  legal  remedies  are  under  threat  of  being  eliminated,  such  as  the  critical   protections  in  the  Trafficking  Victims  Protections  Reauthorization  Act  of  2008.  There  are  also   complications  surrounding  guardianship  requirements  in  different  jurisdictions.  CSR  that  are   granted  Special  Immigrant  Juvenile  Status  are  prohibited  from  applying  for  immigration  relief  for   their  parents  and  siblings.  Obtaining  asylum  for  those  fleeing  gang-­‐based  violence  is  also  a   challenge.  Misinformation  about  legal  remedies  and  options  available  has  resulted  in  parents  being   afraid  of  going  to  immigration  court,  which  only  complicates  the  situation.          


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B . PR O M IS IN G  P R AC T I C ES   During  the  facilitated  group  discussion,  summit  participants  shared  information  about  successful   initiatives,  programs,  and  practices  that  have  been  implemented  in  their  communities  and  have   aided  in  addressing  the  challenges  outlined  above.  Participants  were  able  to  identify  numerous   specific  interventions  that  have  worked  on  a  small  scale  and  should  be  replicated,  institutionalized,   and  integrated  in  various  systems  of  service  provision.         What  follows  are  some  examples  of  promising  practices,  organized  by  area  of  service:     1.  Education     Training  and  professional  development  for  teachers  and  staff     • Prince  George’s  County  Public  Schools  offer  “Spanish  for  Educators”  in  a  school-­‐based   setting,  which  they  found  to  be  more  successful  than  if  it  were  centralized.  In  addition  to   language  skills,  this  training  aims  to  build  cultural  awareness,  provide  information  on   different  educational  and  family  systems,  and  increase  understanding  to  be  able  to  address   the  severe  trauma  and  stress  that  immigrant  children  and  their  families  are  experiencing.   This  initiative  has  been  very  successful  and  is  being  expanded.       • Teaching  for  Change,  a  D.C.  based  non-­‐profit  working  in  D.C.  Public  Schools,  has  developed  a   training  curriculum  to  provide  the  historical  context  of  Central  American  immigration  and   build  cultural  awareness.  The  curriculum  addresses  the  connection  between  family   engagement  and  academic  success,  creating  a  welcoming  school  climate,  cultural  sharing   and  community  building  in  schools,  and  much  more.  Their  “Tellin’  Stories”  project  engages   parents  to  provide  teachers  and  school  staff  with  firsthand  knowledge  about  the  realities  of   parents’  experiences  of  migration  and  the  emotional  consequences,  stress,  and  trauma  that   those  experiences  cause.   • Next  Step  Public  Charter  School  in  the  District  holds  a  weekly  staff-­‐led  professional   development  session  that  provides  the  opportunity  for  staff  to  share  their  own   backgrounds,  knowledge,  and  experiences.   • E.L.  Haynes,  a  public  charter  school  in  D.C.,  has  implemented  a  successful  training  on  trauma   and  how  to  build  a  classroom  climate  that  is  consistent,  calming,  and  caring  for  newcomer   immigrant  students.  The  school  works  closely  with  Mary’s  Center  and  other  providers  to   provide  wraparound  services  to  their  students.     • Some  D.C.  schools  such  as  Bruce  Monroe  Elementary  have  invited  non-­‐profit  legal  providers   to  train  teachers  and  staff  in  basic  immigration  law  and  legal  options  relevant  for  their   students  and  their  families,  as  well  as  general  information  about  legal  services  and  legal   process.       Parent  Engagement  and  Resources   • Montgomery  County  Public  Schools  implemented  “climate-­‐walkthroughs”  in  which  a  group   of  parents  walk  through  the  building,  give  feedback  about  whether  they  felt  welcomed  or   whether  they  could  read  signs  in  the  hallways,  among  other  things.       • Tellin’  Stories  the  parent  organizing  project  of  Teaching  for  Change,  is  based  on  popular  


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education and  has  produced  improved  communication  between  parents  and  teachers  by   maintaining  a  high  level  of  parent  engagement,  affirming  their  experiences  rather  than   denying  or  ignoring  them,  and  by  working  with  the  parents  to  build  leadership  and  self-­‐ advocacy  skills.  Teaching  for  Change  also  supports  the  school  leadership  and  staff  to  find   ways  to  meaningfully  engage  with  the  families  and  the  community.  Dozens  of  immigrant   parents  serve  as  volunteers  in  the  school  and  are  a  major  resource  for  teachers  and  staff.  A   signature  activity  of  this  project  is  Roving  Readers,  a  parent  initiative  through  which  each   participating  parent  reads  in  the  classroom  once  a  month,  gaining  the  confidence  and   motivation  to  be  involved  in  their  child’s  education.    The  book  selection  used  for  this  activity   promotes  social  justice,  multiculturalism,  and  linguistic  diversity.     Fairfax  County  Public  Schools  has  a  bilingual  curriculum  on  immigrant  family  reunification5   that  focuses  on  normalization  and  stages  of  adjustment.    They  have  also  developed   excellent,  bilingual  resources6  on  family  reunification  for  parents  and  schools  such  as:  fact   sheets,  parent  tips,  list  of  recommended  literature  and  films,  and  informational  sheets  on   rights  in  the  school  system.   Anne  Arundel  County  has  a  team  of  bilingual  staff  assigned  to  specific  schools  and  dedicated   to  engaging  the  families  of  CSR,7  assisting  with  school  registration,  explaining  school   programs,  policies  and  procedures,  conducting  parent  support  workshops,  etc.     Baltimore  City  Public  Schools  has  invested  in  headsets  to  provide  simultaneous   interpretation  for  large  scale  assemblies  such  as  PTA  meetings,  orientations,  or   informational  sessions  for  parents.    One  school,  Patterson  Park  Public  Charter  School,  also   invested  in  their  own  headsets  and  indicated  that  they  allow  parents  to  sit  where  they  want   to  and  build  relationships  with  other  parents  (rather  than  being  segregated  by  language   when  they  are  forced  to  sit  next  to  someone  who  can  interpret  for  them).       D.C.  law  requires  interpretation  to  be  made  available  at  parent-­‐teacher  meetings,  though  as   identified  above,  this  is  not  consistently  enforced.  To  mitigate  this  lack  of  language  access  in   D.C.  schools,  in  addition  to  continued  advocacy  for  better  enforcement  of  the  law,   discussion  participants  stressed  the  importance  of  personal  relationships,  and  suggested   that  utilizing  all  Spanish-­‐speaking  staff  to  build  relationships  with  students  and  families  is  an   effective  strategy.  This  enables  teachers  and  staff  to  better  understand  the  students’   experiences  and  academic  needs.  


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2. Legal  Services     Discussion  participants  pointed  out  that  some  members  of  the   immigrant  community  seem  to  be  increasingly  comfortable  with   accessing  and  utilizing  legal  services.  Due  to  frequent   occurrences  of  exploitation  of  the  low-­‐income  immigrant   community,  as  well  as  the  limited  capacity  of  many  service   providers  in  the  area,  among  other  challenges,  it  is  particularly   important  for  members  of  the  community  to  be  informed  about   which  legal  service  providers  they  can  trust  and  how  to  access   their  services.  Word  of  mouth  and  personal  referrals  continue  to   be  the  most  prominent  ways  that  community  members  share   information  among  one  another.  Legal  service  providers  agreed   that  the  availability  of  legal  navigation  or  child  advocate   programs,  coupled  with  increased  availability  of  social  services  in   the  area,  make  the  process  easier  for  both  the  clients  and   attorneys.       Participants  agreed  there  are  some  specific  forms  of  relief  that   benefit  CSR,  such  as  Special  Immigrant  Juvenile  Status  (SIJS)  or   asylum,  and  most  of  those  who  are  able  to  obtain  legal   representation  are  granted  relief.  Even  though  under  federal  law   children  under  21  may  qualify  for  SIJS,  in  Virginia  and  the  District   of  Columbia  youth  are  no  longer  eligible  once  they  turn  18,  due  to   the  fact  that  state  juvenile  courts  only  have  jurisdiction  over   children  younger  than  18.  Thus,  applicants  who  age  out  are  not   able  to  obtain  the  court  order  needed  to  submit  to  USCIS.  In   Maryland,  as  of  last  fall,  the  juvenile  courts  have  jurisdiction  over   unmarried  individuals  younger  than  21.8  Legal  professionals  are   well  aware  of  the  limitations  of  the  law  and  continue  to  advocate   strongly  for  expanded  legal  options  that  would  provide  relief  for   the  children  and  their  families.       In  regards  to  the  process  of  representing  CSRs,  most   practitioners  found  that  the  time  elapsed  between  release  from   detention  facilities  and  the  first  date  assigned  to  appear  in   immigration  court  was  appropriate.  Attorneys  have  found  the   majority  of  cases  to  be  very  difficult  and  require  intensive  work.       3.  Social  Services   School  Enrollment     Schools  in  the  District,  as  well  as  in  Maryland  and  Virginia,  are   currently  accepting  Office  of  Refugee  Resettlement  paperwork  

“ T h i s m o n t h   i s   m y   s e c o n d   y e a r   a s   a   p e r m a n e n t   r e s i d e n t .   I t   f e e l s   g o o d   t o   h a v e   a   s e n s e   o f   f r e e d o m .   I   w a n t   t o   s h a r e   t h a t   i n   D e c e m b e r   I   w i l l   b e   d o n e   w i t h   m y   t w o   y e a r s   i n   N O V A .   T h e n ,   I   a m   t r a n s f e r r i n g   t o   G e o r g e   M a s o n   t o   f i n i s h   m y   b a c h e l o r s   a n d   m a s t e r s   d e g r e e   i n   e d u c a t i o n .   I   a m   v e r y   e x c i t e d !   I   a m   l i v i n g   t h e   d r e a m   t o   g o   t o   c o l l e g e   a n d   h a v e   a   c a r e e r .   A l s o ,   I   h a v e   p l a n s   t o   t r a v e l   t o   E l   S a l v a d o r   n e x t   y e a r   t o   v i s i t   m y   g r a n d m a   b e c a u s e   s h e   i s   v e r y   o l d   a n d   I   w o u l d   l o v e   t o   s e e   h e r   f o r   t h e   l a s t   t i m e   b e f o r e   s h e   p a s s e s   a w a y .     T h a n k   y o u   s o   m u c h   f o r   B E L I E V I N G   i n   m e .   T h a n k   y o u   f o r   y o u r   h a r d   w o r k .   T h a n k   y o u   f o r   e v e r y t h i n g .   T h a n k   g o d   y o u   a r e   m y   l a w y e r   b e c a u s e   y o u   a r e   a w e s o m e . ”   -­‐   A   l e t t e r   t o   h e r   l a w y e r   f r o m   a   S a l v a d o r a n   y o u t h   w h o   o b t a i n e d   S p e c i a l   I m m i g r a n t   J u v e n i l e   S t a t u s  


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for required  enrollment  documentation.  This  is  incredibly  helpful  since  children  arriving  to  the  area   after  a  long  journey,  and  after  being  detained  at  the  border,  have  minimal  documentation  available   to  present.  Some  social  service  providers  have  employed  bilingual  workers  who  specialize  in  school   enrollment  to  guide  families  through  this  process.  Specialized  social  services  in  schools  (for   example,  based  on  immigration  or  housing  needs)  work  well  by  “profiling”  students  and  identifying   case  managers  and  counselors  based  on  their  needs.  Strong  relationships  with  ESL  teachers  or   counselors  at  schools  make  provision  of  social  services  more  effective.  Having  bilingual  and   bicultural  staff  offers  another  significant  advantage  to  CSR.     Youth-­‐Centered  and  Youth-­‐Driven  Programs   There  are  several  high-­‐quality  youth  programs  and  other  after-­‐school  activities  catering  to  CSR.   These  programs  work  best  when  academic  support  is  complemented  with  personal  enrichment,   leadership,  positive  and  meaningful  opportunities  for  service,  and  structured  recreational  activities.   CARECEN’s  Youth  Leadership  Training  provides  weekly  workshop  modules  for  recently  arrived   immigrant  students  that  culminate  with  a  youth-­‐driven  service  or  advocacy  project,  and  MLOV’s   Summer  Institute  for  Student  Organizing,  a  6-­‐week  summer  program,  trains  ELL  students  attending   D.C.  Public  Schools  in  youth  organizing.  Using  youth  promoters  for  outreach  is  also  an  effective   strategy,  as  they  can  easily  connect  to  their  peers  that  need  to  access  information  and  services.  A   good  example  is  the  Teen  Health  Promoter  program  at  the  Latin  American  Youth  Center,  in  which   youth  are  trained  to  be  peer  health  educators.     Gang  Intervention     Collaborative  Solutions  for  Communities  (CSC),  formerly  known  as  Columbia  Heights/Shaw  Family   Support  Collaborative,  uses  a  multidisciplinary  approach  to  reduce  gang  related  violence  by   engaging  high-­‐risk  youth  and  their  families  in  results-­‐oriented  activities.  CSC  works  to  strengthen   the  Gang  Intervention  Partnership  in  the  District  of  Columbia,  a  collaboration  between  several   community-­‐based  organizations,  neighborhood  schools,  government  agencies  and  a  special   Metropolitan  Police  Department  Gang  Unit.  CSC  trains  youth  outreach  workers  to  help  resolve   critical  violent  incidents  in  D.C.  The  outreach  workers  are  concerned  community  members,  at-­‐risk   youth  or  even  former  gang  members  who  work  with  law  enforcement  to  gather  intelligence  at  the   ground  level  in  order  to  resolve  a  case  quickly  and  provide  necessary  protections  for  the  victims  and   their  families  who  fear  retaliation.    CSC  also  pioneered  a  training  curriculum  for  community  partners   in  using  Solution-­‐Focused  Brief  Therapy  and  Family  Group  Decision  Making,  strategies  used  to  assist  


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high-­‐risk youth  to  manage  gang-­‐related  conflicts  through  deep   family  engagement.  CSC  also  conducts  advocacy  and  community   education  campaigns,  and  directs  youth  to  positive  development   opportunities.         Legal  Issues   Social  workers  feel  empowered  when  they  are  trained  in  the   basic  options  for  legal  immigration  relief  and  know  where  to   refer  their  clients  for  legal  assistance.  Strong  relationships  with   legal  service  agencies,  as  well  as  hosting  trainings  and  discussions   about  past  successes  with  asylum  and  U-­‐Visa  cases  (a  type  of  visa   for  crime  victims),  have  proven  to  work  well  in  assisting  families   with  the  reunification  process  and  providing  them  with  the   support  they  need.       Housing   When  reunification  with  families  is  not  possible  or  fails,  many   youth  need  additional  services  to  help  them  stay  on  their  feet.  DC   Doors,  a  D.C.  nonprofit,  offers  transitional  housing  for   undocumented  women.  They  also  offer  cultural  competence   training  for  social  workers  and  other  professionals  serving  recent   arrivals.  The  Latin  American  Youth  Center  also  operates  a  foster   care  program  that  has  placed  unaccompanied  children  with   families  in  the  area.       Language  Access   The  D.C.  Office  of  Human  Rights  now  provides  more  frequent   and  improved  training  on  language  access  and  distributes  “I   Speak”  cards  in  order  to  inform  Limited  English  Proficient  (LEP)   and  Non  English  Proficient  (NEP)  individuals  about  their  rights  to   receive  services  in  their  language.  The  office  has  also  partnered   with  community-­‐based  organizations  to  better  reach  the  LEP/NEP   population  and  encourage  them  to  file  complaints  if  their  rights   have  been  violated.       Support  for  LGBTQ  Youth   The  Community  Navigators  model  works  well  on  its  own,  or  in   conjunction  with  the  peer  mentor  model.  La  Clínica  del  Pueblo’s   ¡Empoderate!  program  provides  peer  support  to  its  Latino  gay,   bisexual  and  transgender  youth  participants  and  accompanies   them  when  following  up  on  referrals  in  order  to  increase  their   engagement  and  successfully  secure  available  resources.    

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4. Beyond  the  Classroom     The  successful  practices  presented  are  culturally  based,   trauma-­‐informed  interventions  built  on  clinical  evidence   and  culturally  specific  information.  This  approach  to   engaging  youth  beyond  the  classroom  is  used  by  NGOs   in  Latin  America  as  well,  and  has  proven  to  be  very   effective.  This  model  contributes  to  bridging  different   cultures  and  helps  students  find  commonality  with  their   peers.  Culturally  competent  trainers  or  program   facilitators  play  a  key  role  in  keeping  youth  engaged  by   being  approachable  and  establishing  trust,  by   reassuring  youth  that  they  care  about  their  well-­‐being   and  their  success  in  school,  and  by  fostering  youth’s   self-­‐determined  identity.  In  successful  programs  staff   also  connects  with  parents  and  routinely  engage  them   in  programmatic  or  recreational  activities.       Another  successful  strategy  to  engage  youth  after  school  is  through  mentoring  programs.  In  many   cases  youth  and  their  mentors  develop  very  strong  bonds  and  connections  that  will  stay  with  them   for  life.  Mentorship  relationships  help  build  self-­‐esteem  while  providing  different  life  perspectives   and  helping  them  to  deal  with  the  most  difficult  problems.       Two  mentoring  programs  were  presented  as  examples:   • Mentoring  by  college  students:  Through  the  DC  Schools  Project  at  Georgetown  University,   college  students  of  Central  American  and  other  immigrant  descent  mentor  newly  arrived   youth.    Mentoring  benefits  both  sets  of  participants:  the  newly  arrived  high  school  students,   for  whom  the  college  students  represent  a  consistent  and  positive  presence  in  their  lives,   and  the  mentors,  who  gain  an  incredibly  rewarding  experience  while  learning  about   challenges  their  mentees  face  and  helping  to  overcome  them.       • Mentoring  by  young  adults:  The  Maryland  Multicultural  Youth  Centers/LAYC’s  Full  Circle   Brotherhood  Program  (FCB)  pairs  young  men  who  have  faced  myriad  challenges  in  their  lives   with  newly  arrived  immigrant  middle  school-­‐aged  boys.  For  example,  FCB  mentors  may  have   dropped  out  of  school,  have  been  incarcerated,  or  have  been  involved  in  gangs,  but  are   working  towards  bettering  themselves  by  living  more  consciously,  building  job  readiness  and   leadership  skills,  and  preparing  to  be  mentors.  The  young  boys  watch  their  mentors  getting   their  lives  back  on  track  and  working  on  their  personal  growth.       Tutoring  and  academic  support  programs  continue  to  play  an  essential  role  in  school  advancement   and,  in  some  cases,  catching  up  with  students’  peers  in  certain  academic  subjects  in  which  they  may   be  behind.  Other  complementary  after  school  and  recreational  activities  that  are  successful  in   engaging  youth  in  positive  outlets  include:  chess  groups  that,  in  addition  to  teaching  chess,   encourage  youth  to  think  of  chess  in  terms  of  life  perspectives;  museum  visits;  theater   performances;  athletic  activities  such  as  biking  and  soccer;  and  healing  circles.      


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  5.  Health     Participants  in  this  discussion  group  agreed  that  two  main   practices  that  improve  service  to  immigrant  children  are   collaboration  between  agencies  and  clinics,  and  a  strong  referral   process.  In  the  area  of  health,  trust  and  cultural  competency  are   major  factors  in  choosing  one  provider  or  another.  When   community  clinics  that  traditionally  serve  immigrant  families   work  alongside  specialty  clinics,  system  navigation  becomes   easier  and  more  people  receive  appropriate  services.     Co-­‐located  and  integrated  services  were  also  identified  as  a   promising  practice.    For  example,  social  workers  available  on  site   in  health  clinics  and  schools  alleviate  the  fragmentation  of   services  and  better  serve  the  needs  of  the  children.     Access  to  health  insurance  is  critical,  and  programs  such  as  D.C.   Healthcare  Alliance,  which  insures  immigrants  who  reside  in  the   District  independent  of  immigration  status,  should  be  replicated   in  other  jurisdictions  in  the  metropolitan  area.    Providers’   continuous  advocacy  in  D.C.  has  proven  to  be  very  effective  in   maintaining  and  strengthening  this  important  benefit.     6.  Mental  Health       Group  members  stressed  that  a  family-­‐centered  approach  to   mental  services  is  essential.  Mental  health  practitioners  have  had   success  when  they  reached  out  to  CSRs’  schools  and   communicated  with  teachers.  Additionally,  integrating  mental   health  and  medical  services  is  important,  as  one  feeds  into   another.       Holistic  support  for  host  parents,  whether  biological  or  not,  is   essential.  Types  of  support  include  mental  health,  legal,  and   stress  management  (through  encouraging  practices  like   mindfulness  meditation).       Mental  health  providers  have  found  that  using  humor,  play   therapy,  highly  individualized  assistance  and  healing  circles  is   especially  useful  when  working  with  youth.  For  example,  at   Linkages  to  Learning,  a  collaborative  program  between  the   Montgomery  County  Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services,  

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Montgomery County  Public  Schools,  and  private  and  public   organizations,  the  child  and  family  therapist  works  with  students   who  face  challenges  associated  with  acculturation  and   reunification  and  helps  them  build  their  self-­‐esteem  through  the   development  of  healthy  coping  skills.  Therapists  work  with   students  and  parents,  first  separately,  then  together,  to  resolve   family  conflicts  and  create  a  common  family  narrative  that  gives   both  child  and  parent  the  opportunity  to  understand  and  share   the  grief,  sadness,  frustration,  confusion,  and  anger  associated   with  the  reunification  process.  Furthermore,  therapists  maintain   close  contact  with  case  managers  to  ensure  families  are  informed   of  any  services  and  resources  available  in  the  community.    The   Street  Outreach  Network  conducts  healing  circles  in  schools  to   help  students  heal  from  traumatic  experiences  in  a  shared  space   with  peers.  Both  programs  are  now  working  together  to  create   other  opportunities  to  engage  youth,  a  soccer  camp  for  example.   Additionally,  in  Montgomery  County  schools  Pupil  Personnel   Workers  (PPW)  are  school  staff  members  who  routinely   accompany  children  and  their  families  to  school  meetings  and   help  advocate  for  family  and  student  rights.         Some  high  schools  have  addressed  mental  health  needs  by   adopting  models  of  self-­‐help—training  students  to  become  peer  mediators.  This  type  of  youth-­‐ driven  initiative  stemmed  from  the  constant  unmet  need  to  speak  to  a  counselor  when  they  needed   to.  The  peer  mediators  learn  skills  to  provide  support  to  one  another  and  resolve  conflicts.     Community  Boards,9  an  organization  based  in  San  Francisco,  has  developed  this  type  of  service   model  and  successfully  implemented  it  in  schools  in  the  Bay  Area  since  early  1980s.      

C. OVERARCHING  RECOMMENDATIONS   The  following  recommendations  looked  at  systems,  coordination,  sharing  of  resources,  and   evaluations  which  were  present  in  the  themes  of  each  of  the  breakout  groups,  with  the  common   goal  of  providing  effective  and  affordable  high-­‐quality  services  to  CSR  and  their  families.       1.  Providers’  professional  recommendations:   • Provide  opportunities  for  training  and  professional  development.  Make  these  available  to   all  who  serve  immigrant  children  and  families;  provide  cross  trainings  of  different  sectors   (e.g.,  offer  basic  legal  training  to  social  service  staff);  train  staff  in  key  areas  (front  desk  staff   at  schools,  immigration  clerks,  and  school  security  guards).   • Hire  more  bilingual  and  bicultural  staff.  Advertise  and  search  for  more  bilingual  and   bicultural  staff;  increase  outreach  to  local  community  colleges  and  universities;  and   encourage  students  as  young  as  middle  school  to  look  into  these  professions.   • Conduct  a  needs  assessment.  Collect  data  on  what  is  working  and  not  working  in  serving   CSR  to  determine  gaps  and  actions  to  strengthen  programs.  The  assessment  should  be  a  


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participatory process  in  which  universities  can  have  a  role  in  data  collection,  and  community   members  may  be  involved  in  data  analysis.  This  will  inform  future  funding  requests.   • Create  and  maintain  a  listserv  for  providers  working  with  CSR.    This  tool  will  enable  the   sharing  of  resources,  and  will  serve  as  organizing  vehicle  for  advocacy  and  volunteer   recruitment.   • Create  more  opportunities  for  service  providers  to  collaborate.  Discussion  participants   reported  a  lack  of  opportunities  to  network,  coordinate,  discuss  best  practices,  and  develop   advocacy  and  funding  needs  strategies.   • Streamline  intake  among  direct  service  agencies.  Develop  a  common  intake  process  to   collect  basic  information;  each  agency  would  then  develop  an  additional  component   requesting  program/service  specific  information.   2.  Providers’  Outreach  and  Accessibility  Recommendations:   • Create  central  lists  and  events  for  families  to  access  information  and  resources.   • Pilot  more  Navigator  programs  to  help  guide  CSR  and  families  through  specific  services   needed  (navigators  could  serve  as  internal  advocates  within  systems  to  ensure  the  highest   quality  of  services).   • Advertise  and  conduct  outreach  in  Spanish  for  educational,  legal,  heath  care,  mental  health,   social  service,  and  after  school  programs.   3.  Policy-­‐related  recommendations:   • Advocate  for  Comprehensive  Immigration  Reform  and  other  policies  that  will  protect  and   provide  benefits  for  CSR  and  their  families.   • Enforce  language  access  laws;  advocate  for  language  access  laws  where  they  do  not  exist.  

D. AREA-­‐SPECIFIC  RECOMMENDATIONS   The  following  are  first-­‐priority  recommendations  from  each  breakout  group.       1.  Education   • Hire  more  bilingual  and  bicultural  staff.   • Make  parent  involvement  strategies  a  requirement  for  teacher  certification;  have  bilingual   staff  work  with  families  as  well  as  students.   • Hire  more  parent  liaisons.   • Remove  any  obstacle  for  students  to  enroll  in  school  quickly.   • Develop  more  innovative  strategies  to  work  with  reluctant  learners.   • Facilitate  workshops  in  schools  to  address  cross-­‐cultural  communication,  diversity,  language   and  race  through  storytelling  and  meaningful  peer  interaction.   2.  Legal  Services   • Develop  a  group  of  Navigators  to  help  guide  families  through  the  legal  process.   • Expand  education  efforts  in  the  community  regarding  legal  rights  and  possible  forms  of   relief.   • Provide  mandatory  training  for  judges  on  understanding  and  working  with  the  Central   American  immigrant  population.  


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• Replicate the  New  York   Immigrant  Justice   Corps  (IJC)  in  other   cities.  IJC  recruits   talented  lawyers  and   college  graduates  from   around  the  country  and   partners  them  with   New  York  City’s  leading   non-­‐profit  legal  services   providers  and   community-­‐based   organizations  to  offer  a   broad  range  of   immigration  assistance.   •   3.  Social  Services     • Develop  housing  options,  especially  shelters  for  homeless  youth.   • Build  relationship  with  police  departments—especially  those  assigned  to  schools.   • Provide  schools  with  gang  intervention  strategies  and  support;  initiate  coordination  among   schools  to  address  this  issue.   4.  Beyond  the  Classroom   • Create  and  develop  mentoring  programs.   • Train  and  support  youth  leaders  and  advocates.   • Invite  youth  from  each  program/school  to  develop  and  plan  a  youth  summit  to  share  stories,   challenges  and  needs,  and  their  visions  for  improved  services.   • Identify  promising  practices  and  present  them  to  local  leadership  at  city,  county,  or  state   levels.   5.  Health   • Advocate  for  health  insurance  if  not  available  for  CSR  and  undocumented  immigrants.   • Develop  a  plan  for  co-­‐located  and  integrated  services  (e.g.  social  workers  who  are  integrated   into  health  clinics  and  schools).   • Publicize  services  in  Spanish  and  develop  a  variety  of  ways  to  disseminate  information.   • Create  partnerships  with  other  clinics  to  facilitate  referrals  and  avoid  duplication  of  services.   6.  Mental  Health   • Train  staff  to  better  understands  the  specific  needs  of  CSR  and  their  families.     • Educate  the  population  to  erase  the  stigma  of  accessing  mental  health  services.   • Bring  more  bilingual  and  bicultural  students  into  the  workforce  to  become  school  and  clinic   counselors.    


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IV. APPENDICES   A PPE N D IX  1:  PR E S S   O N   U N AC C O MP AN IE D   C H IL D R E N   A ND  E F F O R T S  O F   T HE  D C -­‐MD -­‐VA   C O A L IA T IO N  IN   S U P PO R T   O F  C H IL D R E N   F L E E IN G   F R O M  VI O L E NC E  IN   C E NT R A L   A ME R IC A  A ND  IT S   ME M B ER S     Many  Unaccompanied  Minors  No  Longer  Alone,  But  Still  in  Limbo     By  Pam  Fessler,  NPR,  March  9,  2015     Buscan  mejorar  asistencia  a  niños  centroamericanos    By  Miguel  Vivanco,  El  Pregonero,  January  23,  2015     Cumbre  regional  para  ayudar  a  niños  inmigrantes   By  Hola  Ciudad,  January  22,  2015     Regional  Summit  On  Children  Seeking  Refuge   By  Jorge  Martinez,  Centro  Deportivo,  January  22,  2015     Entrevista  con  delegada  Ana  Sol  Gutierrez   By  Jorge  Martinez,  himno.com,  January  22,  2015     Local  “Holiday  Angels”  Served  the  Needy,  Comforted  the  Afflicted  in  the  Region   By  Robert  McCartney,  Washington  Post,  December  24,  2014     DC:  Activistas    piden  ayuda  a  niños  de  frontera   By  Claudia  Uceda,  Univision  Washington,  November  25,  2014     Activists  Hold  Vigil  In  Support  of  Immigrant  Children  At  White  House   Photo  gallery  by  Chip  Somodevilla  and  Saul  Loeb,  Getty  Images,  November  23,  2014       Vigilia  Frente  a  la  casa  Blanca   By  Univision  Washington,  November  24,  2014       A  Loud  Silence:  Finding  Community  at  the  Vigil  for  Children  Fleeing  Violence   By  Hopey  Fink,  Ignatian  Solidarity  Network,  November  24,  2014     Border  Crisis  Now  a  DC  Crisis   By  Nicky  Goren,  Washington  Business  Journal,  November  14,  2014    


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Opciones  a  niños  migrantes   By  Santigo  David  Tavara,  El  Tiempo  Latino,  October  16,  2014     Migrant  children:  Out  of  sight,  still  in  mind   By  David  Rogers,  Politico,  October  11,  2014     Voices  from  El  Salvador:  Gang  Violence  Driving  Youth  Exodus   By  Armando  Trull,  WAMU  88.5,  October  6,  2014     Vigila  por  la  protección  de  los  niños  inmigrantes   By  Univision  Washington,  September  22,  2014     Activistas  piden  mayores  protecciones  y  cuidados  para  los  miles  de  niños  migrantes   By  Jorge  Cancino,  Univision,  September  16,  2014     Celebran  vigilia  en  DC  por  niños  centroamericanos   By  Jose  Lopez  Zamorano,  radiobilingue.org,  September  16,  2014     Ayudan  a  menores  indocumentados   By  Santiago  David  Tavara,  El  Tiempo  Latino,  September  9,  2014     Area  Schools  Scramble  to  Meet  Emotional  Needs  of  Undocumented  Children   By  Pamela  Constable,  Washington  Post,  September  7,  2014     On  the  Front  Lives  of  Care  for  Undocumented  Children  Who  Cross  the  Border   By  PBS,  August  28,  2014     Presión  Migratoria   By  El  Tiempo  Latino,  August  21,  2014     Community  Members  Demand  Fair  Treatment  for  Children  Fleeing  Central  America  at  White  House   By  DCist,  August  19,  2014     Federal  Government  Spends  $6B  a  Year  on  Medical  Care  for  Undocumented  Immigrants   By  Suzanne  Kennedy,  wjla.com,  August  18,  2014       Vigil  for  Unaccompanied  Children  Arriving  in  D.C.  Area  To  Be  Held  At  White  House     By  DCist  via  Mary’s  Center,  August  18,  2014     This  is  How  Much  It’s  Costing  One  D.C.  Health  Center  to  Treat  Influx  of  Unaccompanied  Minors’   From  Central  America   By  Tina  Reed,  Washington  Business  Journal,  August  15,  2014    


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Break the  Cycle:  Vigil  to  Protect  Central  American  Children   By  GHRC’s  Human  Rights  Blog,  August  14,  2014     Mas  niños  inmigrantes  llegan  a  la  capital   By  Leonardo  Feldman,  Hola  Ciudad,  August  14,  2014     Vigilia  semanal  apoya  a  niños  Centroamericanos  huyendo  de  la  violencia   By  Claudia  Curiel,  Telemundo  Washington,  August  8,  2014     Border  Crisis:  Cities  and  States  Revisit  Anti-­‐gang  Policies   By  Teresa  Wiltz,  Tucson  Sentinel,  August  8,  2014     Vigilia  frente  a  la  Casa  Blanca  para  pedir  al  Presidente  Obama  no  más  deportaciones   By  Telemundo  Washington,  August  4,  2014       Vigil  to  support  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America   By  Ramon  Jimenez,  MetroLAtinoUSA.com,  August  2,  2014       Schools,  Social  Services  Feel  the  Heat  Amid  Influx  of  Central  American  Children   By  Armando  Trull,  WAMU  July  31,  2014       What  You  Need  To  Know  About  The  Unaccompanied  Children  Crisis   By  Armando  Trull,  WAMU,  July  31,  2014     Solidaridad  con  los  menores   By  Santiago  David  Tavara,  El  Tiempo  Latino,  July24,  2014     Vigil  for  Central  American  Children  Fleeing  Violence   By  GCH  Live  on  youtube.com,  July  22,  2014     Vigilia  frente  a  la  Casa  Blanca  por  crisis  humanitaria  en  la  frontera   By  Telemundo  Washington,  July  14,  2014    

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SUMMIT REPORT  ON  CENTRAL  AMERICAN  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE  

A PPE N D IX 2 :   F A C T   S HE E T  O N   C H IL D R E N   SE E K ING   R EF U G E   W H Y  

Children flee  from  the  Northern  Triangle  (Honduras,  El   Salvador,  and  Guatemala)  because  of  social  exclusion,   violence  (gangs,  state-­‐armed  actors,  and  drug  cartels),   household  violence,  drug  trafficking,  corruption,  and   institutional  incapacity.  

While  the  migration  of  Unaccompanied  Children   (UAC)  into  the  United  States  has  been  consistent   for  many  decades,  this  population  arrived  in  record   numbers  during  the  summer  of  2014.    In  2014,  the   number  of  minors  apprehended  by  Border  Patrol   agents  neared  68,000.  Additionally,  there  are   many  children  who  enter  the  U.S.  alone  without   coming  into  contact  with  immigration   enforcement.  Both  groups  face  similar  challenges   such  as  dealing  with  trauma  and  stress,  living  in   the  shadows,  and  being  at  risk  of  deportation.  

W H O

The majority  of  the  UAC   arrive  in  the  United  States   from  the  “Northern   Triangle,”  the  Central   American  region  comprised   of  Guatemala,  El  Salvador,   T H E   J O U R N E Y   and  Honduras,  generally   • Families  usually  pay  anywhere  from  $4,000  to  $10,000  to   crossing  into  the  U.S.   coyotes  to  help  them  cross  into  the  U.S.  Sometimes   through  the  Rio  Grande   coyotes  extort  family  members  for  more  money  once   Valley  along  Texas’  southern   the  child  is  in  the  U.S.   border  with  Mexico.   • During  the  trek  from  the  Northern  Triangle  through     Mexico,  most  children  and  families  face  many  risks:   In  FY  2014,  34%  of  UAC  came   extortion  from  grand  and  federal  authorities  in  Mexico,   from  Honduras;  32%  from   sexual  assault  (80%  of  women  and  girls  are  sexually   Guatemala;  and  29%  from  El   assaulted  in  their  trajectory),  kidnapping  by  different   Salvador.  77%  were  male;  23%   armed  actors,  human  trafficking,  physical   were  female.10   disappearances,  and  even  death.  


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ONCE IN  THE  USA   •

• •

When the  children  enter  into  the  U.S.  and  are  detained  by  the  Border  Patrol,  the  Department  of   Homeland  Security  (DHS)  agents  transfer  youth  under  18  to  the  Department  of  Health  and  Human   Services’  Office  of  Refugee  Resettlement  (ORR)  within  72  hours  of  confirming  that  they  are  minors.   While  DHS  begins  the  deportation  process,  ORR  places  children  in  shelter  care,  staff-­‐secured  care,  or   short-­‐term  foster  care.  The  shelters  are  operated  by  non-­‐profit  organizations,  and  provide  food,   education,  and  health  and  recreational  services.  A  child  remains  in  an  ORR  shelter  for  an  average  of   35-­‐45  days.     85%  of  children  are  (at  least)  briefly  reunited  with  family  members  in  the  U.S.  while  facing   deportation.   As  of  June  2014,  only  30%  of  juveniles  had  an  attorney  for  their  pending  cases.     o With  access  to  an  attorney,  a  child’s  odds  of  remaining  in  the  country  increase  from  10%  to  nearly   50%.    An  average  of  90%  of  children  who  do  not  have  legal  representation  are  deported  to  their   countries  of  origin.     Currently,  children  fleeing  violence  in  Central  America  and  arriving  to  the  U.S.  may  be  eligible  for  one   of  the  three  forms  of  humanitarian  relief  available:  Special  Immigrant  Juvenile  Status,  Asylum,  and   non-­‐immigrant  T  and  U  visas.     Six  states  have  received  majority  of  the  UAC  because  they  are  home  to  existing  large  Central   American  communities:  Texas,  New  York,  California,  Florida,  Virginia,  and  Maryland.       o In  the  summer  of  2014,  about  6,000  youth  were  relocated  to  the  Washington  Metropolitan  Area.  


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A PPE N D IX 3 :   RE S O U RC E S   Unaccompanied  Children’s  Services   Office  of  Refugee  Resettlement   http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/ucs/about     Unaccompanied  Children     Department  of  Education   http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/guid/unaccompanied-­‐children.html     National  Center  on  Minority  Health  and  Health  Disparities     National  Institutes  of  Health     http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov     Office  of  Minority  Health  Resource  Center     U.S.  Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services     http://www.omhrc.gov     National  Mental  Health  Information  Center     Child  and  Adolescent  Mental  Health  Substance  Abuse  and  Mental  Health  Services  Administration     http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/CMHS/Special  Populations/refugeelinks.asp     Buscando  Maryland   http://www.buscandomaryland.com/   A  database  built  by  the  State  of  Maryland  helping  to  connect  sponsor  families  of  children  seeking   refuge    to  service  providers  who  can  respond  to  basic  needs  such  as  food,  clothing,  healthcare  and   legal  assistance.         Maryland  Department  of  Human  Resource   Children  Seeking  Refuge  Program   http://www.dhr.state.md.us/blog/?page_id=12148     American  University  Center  for  Latin  American  and  Latino  Studies   http://www.american.edu/clals/migrant-­‐rights.cfm     American  University  Center  for  Community  Engagement  &  Service     http://www.american.edu/ocl/volunteer/Community-­‐Service-­‐Center-­‐About-­‐Us.cfm     Harvard  Immigration  Project     Graduate  School  of  Education     Harvard  University     http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/12.09/11-­‐louie.html      


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National Center  for  Cultural  Competence     Georgetown  University     http://nccc.georgetown.edu/     The  Future  of  Children:  Children  of  Immigrant  Families     Princeton  University  and  The  Brookings  Institution.  2011;  21(1)   http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/journals/journal_details/index.xml?journali d=74     No  Childhood  Here:  Why  Central  American  Children  are  Fleeing  Their  Homes   By  Elizabeth  Kennedy   http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/perspectives/no-­‐childhood-­‐here-­‐why-­‐central-­‐american-­‐children-­‐ are-­‐fleeing-­‐their-­‐homes     Migration  Policy  Institute     http://www.migrationpolicy.org     Pew  Hispanic  Center   http://www.pewhispanic.org     Urban  Institute     http://www.urban.org/immigrants/index.cfm             Children  on  the  Run:  Unaccompanied  Children  Leaving  Central  America  and  Mexico  and  the  Need   for  International  Protection   A  report  by  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  (UNHCR)  Regional  Office  for  the   United  States  and  the  Caribbean  Washington,  D.C.   http://unhcrwashington.org/children     U.S.  Committee  for  Refugees  and  Immigrants   http://www.refugees.org/       Email:  uscri@uscridc.org       American  Refugee  Committee     Refugee  Health  Issues  Center     http://www.archq.org     Enrique’s  Journey   A  book  by  Sonia  Nazario   Book-­‐based  resources  for  educators  available  at:     http://www.enriquesjourney.com/educators-­‐students     The  Teen’s  Guide  for  Surviving  Immigration   By  Juan  Pablo  Villalobos,  Portraits  by  Brian  L.  Frank  


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Committee in  Solidarity  with  the  People  of  El  Salvador     http://www.cispes.org     Guatemala  Human  Rights  Commission     http://www.ghrc-­‐usa.org     Sisters  of  Mercy     http://www.sistersofmercy.org     Maryknoll  Office  for  Global  Concerns     http://www.maryknollogc.org     Documentaries       “María  en  la  tierra  de  nadie”  directed  by  Salvadoran  Director  Marcela  Zamora  Chamorro.     MARIA  IN  NOBODY'S  LAND  is  an  unprecedented  and  intimate  look  at  the  illegal  and  extremely   dangerous  journey  of  three  Salvadoran  women  to  the  US.       “De  Nadie”  (No  One)  is  a  documentary  by  Mexican  filmmaker  Tin  Dirdamal  on  the  impoverished  Central   Americans  who  leave  their  countries  in  hope  of  a  better  life  in  the  United  States.  It  premiered  in  2005   and  was  shown  at  different  international  film  festivals,  winning  the  Sundance  Film  Festival  audience   award  for  World  Documentary  in  2006.     “Who  is  Dayani  Cristal?”  directed  by  Mark  Silver.  An  anonymous  body  in  the  Arizona  desert  sparks  the   beginning  of  a  real-­‐life  human  drama.  The  search  for  identity  leads  us  back  across  a  continent  to  seek   out  the  people  left  behind  and  the  meaning  of  a  mysterious  tattoo.       “Which  Way  Home”  directed  by  Rebecca  Cammisa.  The  film  follows  several  children  who  are   attempting  to  get  from  Mexico  and  Central  America  to  the  United  States,  on  top  of  a  train  that  crosses   Mexico  known  as  "La  Bestia"  (The  Beast).  Cammisa  received  a  Fulbright  Scholar  Grant  to  make  the   documentary  in  2006.  The  film  premiered  on  HBO  on  August  24,  2009.       “Destino”  by  Michelle  Frankfurter     Photobook  documenting  Central  American  migration       “Harvest  of  Empire”  directed  by  Eduardo  López  and  Peter  Getzels     The  documentary  reveals  the  political  and  social  roots  that  have  driven  millions  to  migrate  from  Latin   America  to  the  United  States.       “A  Bridge  Apart”  directed  by  Frank  Maniglia  Jr.     A  Bridge  Apart  looks  at  the  epic  migration  of  immigrants  from  Central  America  and  Mexico  to  the   United  States  from  the  point  of  view  of  the  migrants  themselves.       “The  Invisibles”  directed  by  Gael  García  Bernal  and  Marc  Silver     Collection  of  short  documentaries  on  Central  American  Migration  


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A PPE N D IX 4 :   S UMM IT  O N   C E NT R A L  A ME R IC A N   C H IL D R EN   S E EK IN G  R E F U G E   PA R T IC IP A TI NG   O R G A NI ZA T IO N S    

District of  Columbia   American  Psychological  Association   American  University  Center  for  Community  Engagement  and   Service     Ayuda   Capital  Area  Immigrants’  Rights  (CAIR)  Coalition     CARECEN   Catholic  Charities  Immigration  Legal  Services   CentroNia   Committee  in  Solidarity  with  People  of  El  Salvador  (CISPES-­‐DC)   Collaborative  Solutions  for  Communities   DC  Doors   DC  Office  on  Latino  Affairs   DCPS  -­‐  Office  of  Early  Childhood  Education   DC  Schools  Project  –  Georgetown  University   DC  Office  of  the  Deputy  Mayor  for  Health  and  Human  Services   District  of  Columbia  Public  Schools  (DCPS)   Georgetown  University  Center  for  Social  Justice,  Research,   Teaching  and  Service   Georgetown  University,  Department  of  Anthropology   Hispanic  Bar  Association-­‐DC   Hoyas  for  Immigrants’  Rights,  Georgetown  University   Inter-­‐American  Development  Bank   International  Academy  at  Cardozo  Education  Campus  (DCPS)   International  Republican  Institute   International  Mayan  League-­‐USA,  Inc.   Justice  Advocacy  Alliance   Kids  in  Need  of  Defense  (KIND)   La  Clínica  del  Pueblo   Latin  American  Youth  Center  (LAYC)   Lutheran  Immigrant  and  Refugee  Service   Lutheran  Social  Services  of  the  National  Capital  Area   Many  Languages  One  Voice   Mary’s  Center   National  Council  of  La  Raza  (NCLR)   Next  Step  Public  Charter  School  


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Public Defender  Service  for  the  District  of  Columbia   Radio  Alumbra   Sisters  of  Mercy  of  the  Americas   The  Young  Center  for  Immigrant  Children’s  Rights   UDC  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   World  Vision  International    

Maryland

Baltimore City  Public  Schools   Eastern  Middle  School  (MCPS)   Family  Services,  Inc.   High  Point  High  School  (PGCPS)   Identity,  Inc.   Law  Offices  of  Campos  &  Associates   LAYC/Maryland  Multicultural  Youth  Centers   Maryland  House  of  Delegates/  Del.  Ana  Sol  Gutierrez   Maryland  Office  of  the  Public  Defender   Montgomery  County  Public  Schools  (MCPS)   Montgomery  County  Recreation   Montgomery  County  Department  of  Health  and  Human  Services   Montgomery  County  Coalition  for  the  Homeless-­‐Men’s  Shelter   Montgomery  County  Office  of  Community  Partnerships   Northwestern  High  School  (PGCPS)   National  Center  for  Children  and  Families   Prince  George's  County  Health  Department   Prince  George’s  County  Public  Schools  (PGCPS)   Sandy  Spring  Museum   YMCA/Public  Allies   YMCA  Youth  &  Family  Services    

Virginia Alexandria  City  Public  Schools   Ayuda-­‐Falls  Church  Office   Catholic  Charities  USA   Legal  Aid  Justice  Center   Housing  and  Community  Services  of  Northern  Virginia   UPCC  Manassas     U.S.  Committee  for  Refugees  and  Immigrants      


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A PPE N D IX 5:  W H A T   A TT E ND E E S  A RE  S A Y I NG   A B O UT  T H E  S U M MI T   Below  are  selected  reactions  and  feedback  from  participants  as  provided  in  the  post-­‐summit   evaluation  survey.  The  Coalition  will  use  these  valuable  comments  and  suggestions  to  inform  future   actions  and  events  planned  for  the  benefit  of  CSR.       In  your  opinion,  what  was  the  most  valuable  part  of  the  Summit?     • “The  most  valuable  part  was  having  professionals  across  multiple  fields  get  together  to   share  resources.  It  was  so  helpful  to  hear  the  shared  challenges  and  opportunities  for   success.”     • “The  entire  Summit  was  valuable.  It  provided  the  base  for  what  should  be  the  following   steps.”   • “Getting  to  see  the  enormous  amount  of  passion  and  dedication  that  a  handful  of  folks  were   displaying  in  an  effort  to  support  these  children.”   • “To  hear  a  summary  of  what  has  been  happening  in  Central  America  and  why  the  increase  in   the  unaccompanied  children  happened.  During  the  breakout  session,  it  was  important  to   hear  from  other  colleagues  what  works  for  them  and  where  the  gaps  in  services  are.”   • “The  breakout  groups,  because  it  showed  that  other  organizations  are  having  the  same   issues  and  concerns.  Also  it  helped  in  learning  different  ideas  that  other  organizations  are   doing  to  help  their  clients  and  that  are  working.”   • “The  opportunity  to  share  challenges  and  successes  and  brainstorm  solutions.”   • “Discussion  within  my  breakout  group  was  very  helpful.  I  was  glad  to  hear  from  other  groups   about  what  they're  doing  and  seeing.  Also,  the  list  of  everyone's  contact  information  is   wonderful!”     If  you  had  the  chance,  how  would  you  improve  the  Summit?     Have  more  summits:   • “It  is  important  that  we  continue  to  have  these  summits...so  I  guess  I  would  improve  it  by   having  more!”     Increase  the  length  of  the  summit:   • “It  will  be  better  if  it  is  done  the  whole  day.”   • “More  time  for  discussion  with  other  service  providers.  Rather  than  focus  on  specific  fields,   have  people  focus  on  specific  issues  or  work  plans  to  address  an  issue.”     Change  breakout  group  structure:   • “The  concluding  session  was  too  short.  It  would  have  been  interesting  to  hear  more  from   each  group.  I  also  think  that  it  would  be  a  good  idea  to  mix  the  groups.  Have  groups  that   have  representatives  from  each  sector,  so  that  decisions/solutions/strategies  could  be   achieved  by  a  multi  sectorial  group  that  proposes  alternatives  and  multi  sectorial  


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SUMMIT REPORT  ON  CENTRAL  AMERICAN  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE  

partnerships.” • “I  was  really  hoping  to  learn  more  specifics  about  the  services  and  programs  available  to   recently  arrived  children,  because  I  know  so  little  about  what's  out  there,  and  it  is  my   responsibility  to  refer  youth  and  families  when  they  seek  help.  I  would  have  likes  to  hear   more  from  the  other  groups  instead  of  spending  so  much  time  in  my  own  group,  where  I   already  am  pretty  familiar  with  what  services  exist.”   • “There  was  a  range  of  knowledge  and  experience  at  the  summit.  Some  folks  have  recently   started  working  with  this  population  while  others  have  years  of  experiences.  Finding  a  way   to  be  more  intentional  with  grouping  folks  would  be  helpful.”     Involve  youth:   • “Involve  the  students  themselves  and  government  leaders  who  will  eventually  need  to  fund   these  programs.”   • Organize  another  summit  “with  the  participation  of  the  children  who  can  share  their  stories,   and  talk  about  their  needs.”   • “Identify  a  group  of  kids  that  we  can  help  and  monitor  the  progress  of  how  our  help  is   making  a  difference.”     If  the  DC-­‐MD-­‐VA  Coalition  in  Support  of  Children  Fleeing  Violence  in  Central  America  was  to  plan   another  event,  what  do  you  think  should  be  the  focus?     Trauma-­‐informed  care:   • “I'd  like  to  receive  training  for  how  to  provide  effective  services  to  minor-­‐aged  survivors  of   trauma.  I'm  an  attorney,  and  I  don't  know  what  best  practices  are  when  doing  an  initial   intake  interview,  etc.”   • “I  would  like  to  learn  more  about  how  to  help  children  cope  and  adjust  to  the  US  -­‐  what   services  they  need.  Focus  maybe  more  on  mental  health,  or  discuss  the  trauma  they  have   faced.”     Advocacy:   • “Advocating  on  behalf  of  the  unaccompanied  children  and  immigrant  families  at  the  State   and  Federal  level  to  allocate  funding  to  meet  their  needs.”   • “Plan  an  action  -­‐  what  kind  of  policy  actions  can  the  Coalition  develop,  advance,  and/or   support  to  help  these  children,  based  on  our  particular  knowledge?”   • “Advocating  for  children  entering  the  US  so  VA  and  DC  could  change  its  current  state  law  for   minors  to  be  considered  children  up  to  the  age  of  21  instead  of  18  for  purposes  of  SIJS,  just   as  MD  and  NY.”     Solidarity  among  youth:   • “How  to  build  solidarity  amongst  the  children.  For  example,  having  a  youth  summit  to  create   listening  circles  and  action  plans.”      


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Network building  and  information  sharing:   • “More  sharing  across  disciplines!  As  a  legal  service  provider,  I  would  love  more  feedback   from  schools,  extracurricular  programs,  mental  health  care  professionals,  etc.  about  what   they  can  offer  to  recently  arrived  children.”   • “Have  organizations  give  a  small  presentation  on  their  best  practices  under  the  established   topics.”     • “Create  a  database  for  mentors  and  advocates.”   • “How  interested  volunteers  can  connect  and  assist  with  the  needs  of  the  children  and  their   family.”     • “General  information  sessions  for  general  public  regarding  causes  of  the  crisis  and  how  the   wider  community  could  get  involved  in  the  Washington  DC  Metro  area  to  address  the  needs   of  the  children  and  even  the  root  causes  of  this  crisis.”   • “More  skill  sharing  sessions”     Resources  for  CSR  and  their  families:   • “Update  on  legal  options  and  Central  American  minors  specific  events  -­‐  related  to  education,   health  care,  etc.”   • “Involve  the  youth  themselves  to  allow  them  to  speak  about  their  own  needs  and   challenges.”   • “How  can  we  integrate  services  to  better  serve  unaccompanied  minors  and  families  in  the   Washington  Metro  area?  There  are  many  services  available  to  the  families:  healthcare,  legal   services,  housing,  etc.  Ex:  If  they  look  for  legal  services,  how  they  can  also  have  access  to   healthcare,  etc.  The  organizations  providing  services  need  to  find  a  better  way  to   communicate,  so  we  can  guarantee  that  all  families  and  children  are  receiving  all  the  support   they  need.”   • “Forming  multi  sectorial  partnerships/committees/coalitions  that  include  CBOs,  NGOs,   representatives  of  government  agencies,  and  others  to  determine  concrete  plans  of  action.”    


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V. ENDNOTES  

1. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/ucs/about -­‐  stats   2. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/state-­‐by-­‐state-­‐uc-­‐placed-­‐sponsors   3. It  is  important  to  note  that,  although  our  priority  of  providing  services  to  children  seeking   refuge  as  a  result  of  the  humanitarian  crisis  in  the  past  few  months  is  being  addresses,  the   community  now  faces  a  new  challenge  that  drains  many  families  and  advocates  mentally,   emotionally,  and  monetarily:  the  frequent  deportation  of  children  and  families  seeking   refuge  in  our  area.  President  Obama  has  clearly  stated  that  the  most  recent  arrivals,  who   violated  immigration  law  and  were  ordered  to  be  deported,  will  be  a  priority  for  deportation.   4. For  the  purposes  of  this  report  children  seeking  refuge  (CSR)  are  defined  as  children  and   youth,  18  years  old  or  younger,  from  El  Salvador,  Guatemala  and  Honduras  who  fled  violence-­‐ torn  communities  in  their  home  countries  and  arrived  to  the  U.S.  unaccompanied.  Some  may   have  been  detained  upon  crossing  the  U.S.-­‐Mexico  border;  others  may  have  not  had  any   encounters  with  immigration  along  the  way.  Most  of  them  are  reunited  with  a  family   member;  those  who  are  not  may  be  able  to  access  foster  care.   5. http://www.fcps.edu/cco/fam/reunification.shtml   6. http://www.fcps.edu/cco/fam/reunification/resources-­‐for-­‐schools-­‐and-­‐families.shtml   7. http://www.aacps.org/admin/templates/familyresource.asp?articleid=1276&zoneid=19   8. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/articles-­‐clinic/Maryland-­‐law-­‐expands-­‐eligibility-­‐special-­‐ immigrant-­‐juvenile-­‐status   9. http://communityboards.org/youth-­‐schools/trainings/   10. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/ucs/about  -­‐  stats  

 


SUMMIT REPORT  ON  CENTRAL  AMERICAN  CHILDREN  SEEKING  REFUGE  

VI. PHOTO   C APTIONS  &   CREDITS   Front  cover:  Two  Girls  Holding  Sign.  Photo  credit:  Mary’s  Center   Front  cover:  CARECEN  Youth  Leaders  Marching  to  the  White  House.  Photo  credit:  Zuma  Press   Page  iv:  CARECEN  Youth  Leaders  hold  final  vigil  at  the  White  House  in  support  of  children  fleeing     violence  in  Central  America.  Photo  credit:  Zuma  Press   Page  3:  Coalition  members  and  their  families  joined  weekly  vigils  between  July  and  November  2014.     Photo  credit:  CARECEN   Page  3:  Map  from  New  York  Times   Page  4:  Standing  up  to  our  values.  Photo  Credit:  Georgetown  University  Center  for  Social  Justice     Research,  Teaching  and  Service   Page  5:  Youth  paid  homage  to  children  fleeing  violence  using  paper  cut  butterflies  to  symbolize     migration  for  survival.  Photo  credit:  CARECEN   Page  6:  Group  discussion  facilitators  discuss  prior  to  concluding  session  at  the  summit.  Photo     credit:  University  of  the  District  of  Columbia  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   Page  7:  Panelists  provided  background  on  root  causes  of  Central  American  migration  and  current     polices  that  impact  unaccompanied  children.  Photo  credit:  CARECEN   Page  9:  Participants  discuss  challenges  in  the  area  of  social  services.  Photo  credit:  University  of  the     District  of  Columbia  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   Page  10:  Educators  share  promising  practices  in  serving  unaccompanied  children  in  our  public     school  systems.     Photo  credit:  University  of  the  District  of  Columbia  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   Page  12:  Brainstorming  ideas  for  bringing  change  to  local  schools.  Photo  credit:  University  of  the     District  of  Columbia  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   Page  14:  Health  professionals    make  recommendations  for  better  serving  recently  arrived  children.     Photo  credit:  University  of  the  District  of  Columbia  David  A.  Clarke  School  of  Law   Page  15:  Youth  prepare  signs  for  a  march  against  domestic  violence.  Photo  credit:  CARECEN   Page  15:  Young  women  from  Honduras  holds  sign  at  a  vigil  in  support  of  children  fleeing  violence.     Photo  credit:  Zuma  Press   Page  17:  Any  Child  is  our  Child!  Photo  credit:  Mary’s  Center   Page  18:  Mother  of  a  child  previously  detained  at  the  border  shares  their  story  at  a  vigil  at  the  White     House.  Photo  credit:  Mary’s  Center   Page  20:  Vigil  participants  march  from  St.  John’s  Church  across  Lafayette  Park  to  the  White  House.     Photo  credit:  La  Clinica  Del  Pueblo   Page  23:  Son  Cosita  Seria  joined  the  Coalition  actions  in  support  of  children  fleeing  violence  throughout     the  summer  of  2014.  Photo  Credit:  La  Clinica  Del  Pueblo   Page  24:  Every  Child  Deserves  Compassion.  Photo  Credit:  CARECEN   Page  25:  Map  from  New  York  Times   Page  33:  Summit  plenary,  January  22,  2015.  Photo  Credit:  Himno  

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Summit Report on Central American Children Seeking Refuge  
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