(SAN FRANCISCO, CA)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is calling on the Biden Harris Administration to work with local stakeholders and communities to find compassionate ways to support unaccompanied minors at the southern border.  

Though we are grateful that this Administration has changed course and is following federal law by allowing unaccompanied children to enter the United States, the government should have been prepared with new and creative solutions to safely process high numbers of unaccompanied children since this is not a new or unexpected situation.   

“Children have been coming to the southern border for years and federal officials have continually repeated the same mistakes by not seeing this as a child welfare issue,” ILCR Staff Attorney Rachel Prandini said. “Local stakeholders and community organizations are prepared with innovative ideas to respond compassionately, help children reunite with family members already in the U.S., and offer other needed social services.”  

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials cannot be allowed to hold children in cages,” Prandini added. “We must do better. Advocates with expertise in child welfare are much better suited to support unaccompanied children when they arrive at the border.”  

The ILRC has several resources available to help local, state and federal agencies and officials understand why it is important to stop repeating past mistakes in trying to support unaccompanied minors at the border: 

  • recorded webinar that explains how the detention and deportation system currently operates for unaccompanied minors. 
  • This map that show what happens to immigrant children in the immigration system including apprehension, detention, immigration court, and deportation. 
  •  This one-page resource from the ILRC and the National Juvenile Justice Network illustrates the connections between the criminalization of young people of color in the youth justice system and the current criminalization of young immigrants of color. 


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.