Category Archives: Support KIAC

Special Immigrant Juvenile.

For many of us, these three words don’t hold much meaning. But for several of KIAC’s clients, Special Immigrant Juvenile status is the difference between remaining safely in the United States and being sent back into situations of abuse and neglect.

Larry, KIAC’s Director of Legal Services, is working with one such client. At a very young age, Santos* was abandoned by his parents to be raised by his grandparents. Santos remembers being hungry, dirty and neglected for much of his childhood. Upon their return, Santos’ parents showed no interest in his well-being. They were verbally abusive and continued to neglect his basic needs.

Despite neglect and abuse, Santos persevered, obtaining a part-time job and saving up enough money to leave his country of origin. At just 17 years old and all alone, Santos made the difficult journey to the United States. Upon entry, Santos was picked up by ICE and released into the care of his brother. They called KIAC for immigration legal representation and support.

Santos is currently in removal proceedings. Larry helped him apply for asylum and is working on obtaining a predicate order, a necessary prerequisite for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). SIJS is a pathway to legal status for minor immigrants currently living in the United States who have been impacted by abandonment, abuse or neglect. If awarded SIJS, Santos will be appointed by the court to be a dependent of his brother until he turns 21. If SIJS is granted, Santos will be able to apply for Lawful Permanent Residency.

When you make a gift to KIAC, you allow KIAC to help immigrants like Santos. We can’t do what we do for our immigrant neighbors without support from donors like you.

Please consider a gift to KIAC today and make an impact in 2022. *Name changed for confidentiality & privacy purposes

Marta’s Story … When you give to KIAC, you help change lives!

Marta in front of a local waterfall.

As a child, Marta* endured a series of devastating events. Her mother died of cancer, and her father suffered a serious brain injury which left him unable to work and in poor health.

When Marta was just 11 years old, she made the arduous journey to the United States accompanied by family acquaintances with whom she has since lost touch. When crossing the border, she was sleeping in the back seat of their car and does not remember how they got through the US entry point. As a result, Marta has not been eligible for a green card because she can’t prove whether she entered the United States lawfully.

Even without documents, Marta persevered – raising her children who were born in the U.S. and are U.S. citizens. By the time she turned 30, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program launched, and Marta qualified. Her DACA did not provide a path to a green card, but it did allow her to work legally. She has had a good job at a grocery store chain for the last decade, paying taxes and making a life here.

Recently, one of her children turned 21 and is able to sponsor Marta for a green card. KIAC lawyers obtained a travel document so that she could return to her country of origin to be with her ailing father for the first time in years and return to the US legally. She now qualifies for a green card, and KIAC team members are helping her with that application.

Five years after receiving her green card she will be able to apply for citizenship … the opportunity she has dreamed of since arriving here as a child.

DACA has been an asset for Marta and so many others, but DACA offers no path to citizenship. KIAC continues to help clients renew their DACA, and when the opportunity arises as it did for Marta, to help with acquiring green cards and working towards their citizenship.

DACA needs reform. Alongside our immigrant clients, KIAC advocates for change. Childhood arrivals like Marta need a clear path to citizenship.

When you donate to KIAC, you make this work possible. 

Please consider a gift today!

*name changed for confidentiality


The following story highlights the type of trauma experienced by many immigrants and the life-changing work done by KIAC’s immigration legal team.

When you donate to KIAC, you make this work possible.

This young woman suffered sexual assault by government security forces in her country of origin resulting in pregnancy. To escape further harm, she fled and lived in a refugee camp where she gave birth. She sent the child to her mother to keep the baby safe.

After suffering another sexual assault in the refugee camp, our client fled to yet another country to seek asylum. Sadly, refugees in that country face violent xenophobia. Even there, where she was hoping to find safety, she was the recipient of more physical violence. In an effort to support herself, she sold clothing on the street and was able to save enough money for the long journey to the United States.

Once in the US, she was put into removal proceedings and held at the NW Detention Center in Tacoma. KIAC secured a bond for her release. After numerous delays in proceedings and a contested hearing, she was finally granted asylum. KIAC’s legal team is now helping her file petitions to be reunited with her children.

With KIAC’s support, she is on the path towards building a safer and more promising life for herself and her children.

When you donate to KIAC, you make this work possible.

Thank you for making a gift today!