Children and Youth

In recent years, the DC metropolitan region has seen a drastic increase in the number of unaccompanied children and families with children immigrating here. Many of these children have experienced trauma or victimization, whether from violence in their home countries or within the family.

There are also a significant number of “Dreamers” in our region — immigrant children who were brought here by their families and have lived in the U.S. for the majority of their young lives without legal status. These individuals are allowed to stay in the U.S. temporarily and are eligible to receive a work permit through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, this law is currently in jeopardy.

Ayuda provides a unique holistic legal and social services program for immigrant child victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other crimes.

Ayuda represents children in custody and guardianship matters in Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, and also represents children in matters before USCIS and the immigration courts. No one should face the immigration system without an attorney, least of all a child.

Ayuda’s Staff Attorneys are well-versed in the special remedies available to child victims and have extensive experience assisting children in obtaining legal immigration status.

Ayuda also represents immigrant children in ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) custody at certain facilities, providing Know Your Rights Trainings as well as consultations and representation to detained children. Ayuda represents many children released from ORR custody to the D.C. region.

Ayuda’s social services team helps immigrant children access needed services and educational resources, and provides counseling and other referrals as appropriate.

Children & Youth 2019 Impact


Ayuda Clients Ages 0-17

DACA Recipients Supported

Unaccompanied Youth Received Social Services

Ayuda's Response to Busing of Migrants

Since April 2022, Ayuda has been working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas and Arizona continue to send thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C.

We are providing culturally and linguistically specific legal, social and language access services to newly arriving migrants. These services include case management and intake support, interpretation, as well as the provision of food, clothing, hygiene kits, prepaid cell phones, medical supplies, and paid shelter.

Our legal team is providing individualized legal orientations for migrants explaining the immigration system and helping them be aware of their rights and responsibilities.  

“Immigrants are first and foremost, human beings. They deserve respect and compassion, and Ayuda will continue to do what we do best – provide holistic support to those in need in our communities.” - Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

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