Image by Julia Kuo of The Marshall Project

Rachel Davidson, Managing Attorney, Policy and Special Projects, The Door and Laila Hlass, Law Professor, Tulane Law School published a collaborative report, “Any Day They Could Deport Me”, highlighting the devastation the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Backlog has caused on the lives of young immigrants. The report includes extensive research, firsthand testimonies, and recommendations on how Congress can permanently protect vulnerable immigrant children. Read the full report here.

Below Rachel shares with TIME Magazine her experience with working with immigrant youth in the backlog and why her research on “Any Day They Could Deport Me” is important in advocating the for lives and protection of the thousands of immigrant youth trapped in the SIJS backlog.


“We knew the impact [of the backlog]. We could see its impact on the lives of the young people that we represent,” Rachel Leya Davidson, managing attorney for policy and special projects at The Door, tells TIME. But the new dataset, she says, helps to underscore the severity of the problem they witness every day. “We’re really going to be able to understand more concretely how this government is treating children who are survivors of abuse, abandonment and neglect, and what the government is and isn’t doing to ensure their protection.”

The Door, Hlass and End SIJS Backlog Coalition are partnering with the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, to examine the effects of the data.

For Ariel, the backlog affects everything. (TIME is using a pseudonym to identify Ariel to protect their privacy because of their vulnerable position). “I just want to be like every other person of my age. Go to college, get a job,” Ariel says. Instead, it feels as if life is “on pause.”

Read the full article here
Read our op-ed Ms. Magazine