Unaccompanied Children

Unaccompanied Children


Apr 19, 2018 | 7pm

Over 82,000 children currently face complex deportation proceedings without counsel, a number that has doubled in the last six months. Most come from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

In immigration court, the Department of Homeland Security is represented by highly trained lawyers who will argue for the children’s removal. Without an attorney, children have less than a 10% chance of avoiding deportation. With counsel, their chance is 86%. When deportation may be a death sentence, a pro bono attorney can be a lifeline.

Ruthie Abel’s Let It Be The Dream It Used To Be documents children who arrived alone in the United States seeking refuge. The title references Langston Hughes’ 1935 poem, Let America Be America Again, challenging our conception of the American Dream. The portfolio of photos depicts some of the few children in this country that fought for their right to stay here and won.

Please join the Bronx Documentary Center for a slideshow and conversation around due process, children’s rights, and immigrant advocacy. Panelists will include photographer Ruthie Abel, South Bronx United attorney Brendan Davis, Safe Passage Project social worker York Campos, and former clients who secured the right to remain in the United States.



RUTHIE ABEL is a New York-based artist, originally from North Carolina. Her photography focuses on social justice issues and is informed by her experience as legal counsel to human rights-focused organizations, including the Open Society Foundations and The Rockefeller Foundation. As a student at Columbia Law School and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, her research examined the global plight of unaccompanied minors. In 2017, she received a grant from the Peter Reed Foundation in support of this work and joined Anastasia Photo as an Emerging Photographer.

BRENDAN DAVIS joined the South Bronx United (SBU) staff in 2014, although he had been volunteering with them since 2012. He is passionate about working with New York's diverse immigrant communities, and most recently was a volunteer coordinator with the Arab American Association of New York. Born and raised in Australia, Brendan received degrees in Business Management and Law from the University of Queensland.

YORK CAMPOS, is a social worker for the Safe Passage Project. Safe Passage Project addresses the unmet needs of immigrant children living in New York by providing legal representation to empower each child to pursue a safe, stable future.

Suggested donation: $5 Bronx Residents, $10 General Admission, 18 and under Free.

Our venue is on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible. The bathroom is non gender-segregated. For further information call 718-993-3512 or email olivia@bronxdoc.org.

© Ruthie Abel