Miriam Abaya Senior Director

Miriam is the Senior Director for Immigration and Children’s Rights at First Focus. Before joining First Focus, Miriam was a Policy Analyst at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, where she advocated for immigration policies that would protect the best interests and rights of unaccompanied children in government custody. While at the Young Center, Miriam focused on access to the asylum, border policies, and due process for immigrant children. Miriam also advocated before international bodies, regarding U.S. immigration policy, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Miriam graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2017. During law school, Miriam was a 2015 Law & Public Policy Scholar and interned with the DOJ Office of Immigration Litigation, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy. After law school, Miriam was a Law & Public Policy Fellow for the Law & Public Policy Program, where she conducted research on international justice outreach on the African continent. That research was later published in the UCLA Journal of International Law & Foreign Affairs. She also worked part-time for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, where she supported a project on victim participation in the Central African Republic's Special Criminal Court.

Miriam is Nigerian American and grew up in Jos, Nigeria.

Resources by Miriam Abaya

Climate Displacement is a Kids Issue

| October 13, 2021 |

In recent years, natural disasters and extreme weather events have been occurring at alarming rates. This past summer was particularly worrisome in the U.S.

Letter: Inform states of the vacatur of the 2019 Public Charge Final Rule

| September 30, 2021 |

On September 30th, First Focus on Children sent a letter to Secretary Fudge asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to

70 Child Advocacy Organizations Call on Texas Governor to Protect Migrant Children

| August 30, 2021 |

As child advocacy organizations, our north star is the safety and well-being of children. We believe that every child should be cared for in

Administration’s approach to gender-based violence needs to consider children

| July 9, 2021 |

President Biden recently announced the United States’ commitments to the Generation Equality Forum, a global initiative to achieve equality and opportunity for women and

Fact Sheet: TPS Redesignation for Haiti

| April 30, 2021 |

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)? Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigrant status created by Congress that allows individuals already in the

30+ Child Advocacy Organizations Call on Biden to End Title 42

| April 13, 2021 |

Since taking office the Biden administration has made many changes to immigration policies that are good for kids. The administration has ended the Trump

Biden Administration to send much-needed Disaster Response Team to Central America

| April 8, 2021 |

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that it will activate a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs

This Black History Month, The Biden Administration Must Stand with Black Immigrant Children

| February 16, 2021 |

For many, the inauguration of the Biden Administration represented a change in direction from the many harmful policies of the previous administration, particularly in

Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Immigrant Children

| January 5, 2021 |

A federal appeals court in California published a decision last week on the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement that blocks

We must do right by children: Start by changing harmful border policies

| December 14, 2020 |

As I read the CBS News story about 15-year-old Marjory, I could feel my blood boiling. When her home in Guatemala was no longer