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Unaccompanied Children’s Program: New York

IINE’s Unaccompanied Children’s program helps connect mostly Central American children forced to migrate because of violence, poverty, and deprivation in their home countries with relatives or family ties in the U.S. while providing intensive trauma care, case management services, and professional support.

The IINE program serves more than 600 unaccompanied minors annually, delivering essential services to children and teenagers who are referred to us by immigration authorities after they have been detained and sheltered by the U.S. government under federal policy guidelines.

In 2023, IINE expanded the program to reach minors and families in the metro New York area. The New York team helps reunify children, some as young as two years old, with their U.S. based families, connect them with mental and physical health services, help them find an attorney to support their asylum process, and enroll them in public school and/or programs that prepare them for education or work.

Major Foundation Support

Spotlight Success

Carlos’ Story: An unaccompanied Youth Builds a New Life in the U.S.

Carlos was fifteen years old when he left Honduras on his own. Fleeing violence and seeking a better education, and medical treatment for an eye condition that left him partially blind, he was optimistic about a future in the U.S.

After crossing the the U.S. border just beyond the Rio Grande, Carlos was arrested on entry and held for the night at a detention facility in Texas before being brought to a shelter for youth in Miami. Carlos remembers exactly how long he was at the shelter: 82 days. He missed his family in Honduras, and was frightened by the uncertainty of his future.

Carlos was in the middle of a soccer game at the detention facility when he was told he would be released to live with his aunt in New Jersey. He had not seen her in person since he was very young and only had pictures to remember her by, but he was very excited; finally, he would be starting his new life in America.

Spotlight Report: Unaccompanied Children’s Program (January 2023)

The Spotlight Report is a quarterly report to bring you a deeper understanding of our work. This Spotlight Report on the Unaccompanied Children’s Program explores how IINE works to reunify hundreds of children a year—some as young as two years old—with their U.S.-based families across New England.