The organization has had a presence in Atlanta for seven months and Iturralde has worked with four attorneys, all of Hispanic heritage, for whom KIND’s mission is significant and hits close to home.
“The majority of cases we see are of children who come from El Salvador, and my parents are from El Salvador,” said legal assistant Kevin Amaya. “So the reasons that these children fled their country are the same ones that caused my parents to emigrate in the 1980s. El Salvador is right now the most violent country that is not currently in an active war.”
“My parents are immigrants, and I always knew that I wanted to work with the community, but I never imagined I would end up working with children. And to see the strength that they have, to come to a country that doesn’t always have its arms open, is something to admire,” said María Rodríguez, a lawyer in the Atlanta field office of KIND.
Iturralde, whose own parents are Ecuadorian, finds motivation in the same source. The day to day work she and her team encounter, however, is not without difficulties.
“If we take too long in finding a lawyer for a child, they run the risk of getting older and no longer being considered a minor. And in that case, we cannot help. So our mission is to find lawyers on time, who are willing to work pro bono and cover these cases, so that no child has to go to court alone,” said Iturralde.