Jesuit Refugee Service and 13 U.S.-based Jesuit law schools saw the difficult burdens being placed on asylum seekers and refugees from one of the most dangerous areas in the world, and launched a partnership to raise awareness about the plight of children and families from the Northern Triangle of Central America seeking protection in the United States.

Finding legal representation is one of the first hurdles that asylum seekers arriving in the U.S. face. Fewer than 50 percent of unaccompanied children going before immigration court are represented by an attorney. Without access to counsel, a claim to asylum cannot be adequately presented or adjudicated. This poses more significant challenges for young children who face complicated and often confusing questions from judges and government prosecutors.

JRS will continue to advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and support Jesuit law schools serving vulnerable people from Central America.

—Christian Fuchs serves as Communications Director for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.