CILA Celebrates Dalia’s Feature as the September Fearless Children’s Lawyer of the Month

We are excited to share that the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee chose Dalia Castillo-Granados as the September Fearless Children’s Lawyer of the Month. The CILA team is proud of our fearless leader. We feel inspired, encouraged, and grateful to be in community with you, Dalia, and all of the CILA network of advocates working on behalf of migrant children.

CILA was built to support advocates in the field. The organization’s work centers on capacity building for those working to advance the rights of children seeking protection through trainings, technical assistance, and collaboration. We welcome you to read the feature on Dalia. We hope with the read and through CILA’s work that you feel supported, inspired, and encouraged to be in this community. We also hope that you feel motivated to stay committed or get involved. This is what CILA aims to do as a team and organization.

To Support

CILA supports advocates by hosting trainings, answering individualized technical assistance questions, providing written resources and guides, and creating space for collaboration. Read more about CILA’s work in the CILA 2021 Annual Report and CILA’s 2020 Annual Report.

To Inspire

In its communications and core services, CILA hopes to inspire advocates and others to get involved. Earlier this year, CILA worked on a video featuring youth to amplify their voices: Escuche Mi Voz/Listen to My Voice, and the ABA’s Commission on Immigration also created Tu Futuro, Tu Voz/Your Future, Your Voice in 2020 sharing youth’s voices and stories.

CILA also worked with its sister project ProBAR in 2021 to create the video Standing with Children: Unaccompanied Children and the Need for Pro Bono Representation to inform potential pro bono attorneys about working with youth in immigration matters and to inspire them to get involved.

To Encourage

While the work can be tough, the CILA team hopes to encourage you—whether individually in direct communications, in the resources we create, or in collaborative meetings and events. CILA’s monthly newsletter also includes a section where CILA highlights advocates’ celebrations. If you have a celebration to share such as a highlight from your week, a case victory, or something that went well for you or your organization, please email us at  

To be in Community

This work takes courage, competency, compassion, and creativity. These are the necessary skills for every champion of immigrant children and youth. CILA hopes to build a community of advocates that can learn from each other and support one another.

CILA created a video to uplift the voices of advocates and why they are involved in this work. CILA initiated the project for fun, self-care, and community building. The reasons and purposes advocates shared also inspires us and others.

CILA regularly hosts working group meetings to provide a space for collaboration and community amongst advocates to discuss important issues relevant to this field and working with children.

To Recognize the Need

Quote from feature on CILA’s Director Dalia Castillo-Granados: “The very thought of a child standing up in a courtroom trying to defend themselves before an immigration judge and arguing against a trained prosecutor is just absurd to her. And shouldn’t it be absurd to all of us?”

Youth’s needs for legal representation and social services are significant. One of CILA’s recent blog posts highlights these needs and the gap in legal representation.

To Get Involved

CILA invites you to get involved with CILA and with this work.

  • Receive one or both of CILA’s newsletters to stay up to date: Champions for Immigrant Youth (monthly) & Pro Bono Matters (quarterly).
  • Join a CILA working group and listserv.
  • Attend an upcoming training or watch a recorded training.
  • Read a guide or other resource available on CILA’s website to gain information and tips for your practice.
  • Ask a question about a legal case.
  • Seek guidance on social services issues for a client.
  • Volunteer for a pro bono case to help a child in their case.
  • Get involved.

Congratulations Dalia! And thank you to the advocates across the country working on behalf of migrant children. Thank you for all that you do to help children and youth know their rights, be informed, feel supported, represented, and more. Thanks to each and every one of you for your fearlessness.