Microsoft is continuing to support an organization dedicated to ensuring that immigrant and refugee children in the United States get legal representation, with the company pledging no less than $1 million per year for the next three years to Kids in Need of Legal Defense (KIND).In 2008 the software giant offered a similar donation to KIND, with Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, now noting that the Redmond company is pleased to increase its contribution with an additional $3 million.
It’s estimated that some 8,000 children that are not accompanied by their parents face deportation hearings in the US. KIND is designed to provide legal representation for child refugees and unaccompanied children immigrants.
“It is great to see the progress KIND has made since its launch. Up and running in seven cities throughout the U.S., KIND has helped nearly 2,000 children, ranging from 2 to 18 years old, from more than 35 countries,” Smith stated.
“This has been possible through the training and support of lawyers from more than 80 law firms and corporate legal departments who have donated their time to represent these children in immigration court proceedings.”
Of course, KIND functions on donations from other people and companies beyond Microsoft.
But because the Redmond giant got involved a couple of years ago, others followed. Smith revealed that the software company’s initial donation to KIND was followed by more sponsorships from businesses, as well as in excess of $7 million in pro bono services only in 2009.
The hope is that the latest donation from Microsoft will catalyze additional funding for KIND.
“KIND’s impact cannot be measured by numbers alone,” he said. “The true impact is seen through the real-life stories of vulnerable children, separated from their parents or other adults to care for them, who are given professional and thorough legal representation that truly offers them a better chance for a safe, secure and happy life."
“Providing legal services to these children is truly a labor of love and something that we, at Microsoft, are honored to do. And, we are grateful for the support we have seen throughout the legal profession to do the same.”