Children don't travel thousands of miles on a whim

Many Central American children live in violent neighborhoods that are overrun by gangs and organized crime. With no one to protect them, they see only one option: to run for their lives.

Every day, 110 innocent children risk it all to flee to the U.S.

Josue 17,
El Salvador

Dani 12,

Felipe 13,

They travel unimaginable distances

Average distance children tavel to the U.S. border

1400 miles

Same as running more than 53 marathons

They flee
unspeakable tragedy

  • Gang violence
  • organized crime
  • child abuse
  • sex trafficking
  • domestic violence
  • abandonment
  • death of parents
  • labor exploitation
  • corruption
  • poverty
They Flee From

El Salvador

About 3 in 5 children leaving El Salvador are escaping gang violence.


In Guatemala, 16 murders occur every day.


San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is well known as the murder capital of the world.


Children fleeing Mexico face equally deadly situations as children from Central America, but most are immediately returned without access to protection from the conditions they fled in the first place.

With no ticket, NO MONEY, no one to ask for help, they persevere.

They risk life and limb

Children climb aboard moving cargo trains to cross the vast distance, risking the loss of their arms, legs, or lives beneath the wheels.

Abuse and abduction

Along the way, these vulnerable children are prime targets for violence. Many are robbed. Some are kidnapped for ransom or trafficked. Many are sexually assaulted.

And severe conditions

Crossing the desert between Texas and Mexico – where temperatures can surpass 120ºF/49ºC in the shade and dip below freezing at night – is treacherous, especially without water or shelter.

Searching desperately for help

Once at the border – tired, afraid, and uncertain of the future – they desperately seek protection from the conditions they have fled.

Reaching the border is only the first step

Not all children who flee their countries will reach the border. Many of those who do will be turned back without question or aid. Not all of those taken into custody will be reunited with a family member or caregiver. Still, only a fraction of those who are turned over to a caregiver will receive life-changing social and legal services.

Kids who flee
their countries

Kids who reach
the border

Kids who are united
with caregivers

Kids who receive social
and legal services

We create opportunities for a future providing access to

Our case managers work with children and their caretakers to ensure that these families’ basic needs are met, foundations are built, and shattered lives are restored.

Legal Services


Medical Care

Food and Clothing


Family contact and reunification

Still, their futures remain uncertain

We work domestically and internationally to pave the way to a life of freedom, dignity, and opportunity for both the children who stay and those ordered to leave.

A Future in their Home Country

Some children are returned to their home countries. Our Central American office provides opportunities and alternatives to migration for children, reducing the need and desire to make the journey again.

Our work in Central America

A Chance to Tell Their Story

Many of the children who reach the border have legitimate claims for protection in the U.S. We have a network of volunteer and staff attorneys dedicated to giving children the chance to fairly present their cases when they appear in immigration court.

Join our pro bono attorney network