The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights is dedicated to promoting the best interests – safety and well-being – of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center's work is to serve as Child Advocate or best interests guardian ad litem for unaccompanied and separated immigrant and refugee children in immigration removal proceedings. The Center also conducts policy advocacy at the local and national level to promote the consideration of the child's best interests in all decisions concerning unaccompanied and separated immigrant and refugee children.
Originally based at the University of Chicago Law School, the Young Center now serves unaccompanied immigrant children in seven other cities around the country. Eight years since it's inception, the Young Center's mission remains the same: to promote the best interests—safety, permanency and well-being—of unaccompanied immigrant children in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal child protection laws. Our new name, The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, pays tribute to one of our first clients.
Young Zheng was smuggled by ruthless traffickers from China at the age of 14, and was expected to work off a debt of $60,000. In fear for his life, Young endured more than two years of legal battles to remain in the United States. His Child Advocate stood by his side, fought for his release and against his deportation. Today, Young Zheng is a lawful permanent resident and college student. He has graciously lent his name to this organization.