Michele Kayal Vice President, Media and Communications

Michele Kayal is an award-winning journalist who has covered everything from post-Communist Europe to country music cookbooks for the New York Times, Associated Press, NPR and other national outlets. As a “recovering reporter” she now deploys her media and communications skills on behalf of the children served by First Focus and First Focus Campaign for Children.

Before joining First Focus, Michele spent three years leading communications for Relief International, a $100 million humanitarian organization providing refugee assistance in 16 countries. For more on Michele’s background, please visit her LinkedIn profile.   

Resources by Michele Kayal


Four ways the debt ceiling bill hurts kids

| June 1, 2023 |

Last night the House passed a debt ceiling bill that will stave off disaster for the country as a whole, but will hurt millions


Statement: Budget deal “short-sighted, unfair and fiscally irresponsible,” children’s advocate says

| May 31, 2023 |

Deal undercuts an already shrinking share of spending on kids First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley released the following statement in response to the


Statement: Title 42 ends, but children still in danger

| May 11, 2023 |

Asylum ban, deterrence policies will punish children WASHINGTON, May 11, 2023 —Today marks the end of the Title 42 policy, put in place by the


Statement: Children deserve access to quality, affordable health care coverage

| April 14, 2023 |

In response to President Biden’s expansion of access to health care coverage to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, First Focus on


6 ways budget cuts could impact kids

| April 14, 2023 |

As House leadership wrangles with itself over the contours of a budget proposal, one thing is clear: Cuts are coming. Members have floated proposals that would return spending


Work requirements work against children

| April 6, 2023 |

Work requirements snagged the spotlight on Capitol Hill this week as lawmakers began floating ideas for strengthening them as a condition of food, medical and


Reviving family detention will hurt children

| March 10, 2023 |

Advocate urges changes to the system instead On the recently reported news that the Biden Administration is considering reviving the policy of detention for


Statement: Biden budget signals commitment to children

| March 9, 2023 |

Congress must also support investments in children In response to President Biden’s release today of his FY 2024 budget proposal, First Focus on Children


“Fast not Fair:” New report highlights how children seeking asylum are fast-tracked for deportation

| March 7, 2023 |

Asylum practices specifically hurt children, report finds In a report released today, First Focus on Children and the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights


5 ways the asylum ban punishes children

| February 28, 2023 |

Kids will pay the price for system failures WASHINGTON, February 23, 2023 — The asylum ban proposed this week by the Biden Administration is likely to disqualify most migrants