Young Center in the News


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ACLU: U.S. has taken nearly 1,000 child migrants from their parents since judge ordered stop to border separations

“Jennifer Nagda, policy director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a child advocate for unaccompanied and separated children, told the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform that the group represented about 120 children and found that nearly all separations were contrary to the best interests of the child.”

Trump administration has separated hundreds of children from their migrant families since 2018

"‘We are alarmed,’ said Jennifer Nagda, policy director at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a Chicago-based national human rights group. ‘In March and April, we again saw a notable increase.’"

For unaccompanied minors, countdown to 18th birthday is filled with fear and dread

CNN spoke with Young Center’s Deputy Program Director Xiaorong Jajah Wu about ICE custody of teens: “Wu oversees offices in Houston and Chicago, where she says it is the child's attorney or child advocates who put forth alternatives to adult detention, ‘basically begging ICE not to take these kids on their 18th birthday.’”

Organization bringing hope to immigrant children

“They’re alone at the end of the day. They’re children, and they need support…We want to make sure that those children know that we’re there for them. That we’re their voice and that they know that someone is looking out for what’s best for them, despite being in such a complex system,” says Young Center’s Managing Attorney in Harlingen Olivia Peña.

How The Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy Is Playing Out

“In recent days, there's been an uproar over children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Jennifer Nagda, policy director at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights.”


The Trump Administration’s Sustained Attack on the Rights of Immigrant Children

Young Center’s Policy Director Jennifer Nagda spoke with The New Yorker’s Jonathan Blitzer about the administration’s new Flores regulations that would allow the indefinite detention of children.

Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney

“Jennifer Nagda, policy director at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, said that the issue stems from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) treating detention centers as part of enforcement instead of a site for protecting adults and children.
'It is incredibly frustrating when you know that on the part of homeland security, it is not due to a lack of resources, it is due to a lack of intention,’ Nagda said.”

In New York, Even a Count of Separated Children Proves Elusive

“…the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, provides “ad litem” support to children in New York, to advocate for the best interests of the child, but only has two lawyers and one social worker in New York. On Friday, another lawyer was on the way.”

After 183 days apart, Honduran man reunites with the 8-year-old brother he raised like a son

Our New York Staff Attorney, Rebecca Rittenhouse, served as Child Advocate Supervisor for Andy’s case along with Young Center volunteer Jenny Amaya. Together they worked tirelessly to reunite the brothers.

Lawyer Maria Woltjen: “My Work Does Make Me Angry, but That Fuels Me”

Lawyer Maria Woltjen is the director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which recruits and trains child advocates for children going through deportation proceedings. She single-handedly piloted the program in 2004… Now, the organization has eight offices across the country. Here, she talks about her “quite balanced” life, taking time off work to be a mom, and why it’s okay that her work makes her angry.