Miriam Abaya (Former Staff) Vice President, Immigration and Children’s Rights

Miriam is the Vice President 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

Title 42 ends, but children still in danger

| May 11, 2023 |

Will we measure success by how many we reject or how many we protect? Today, at 11:59 pm, the Title 42 policy put in

5 ways the Biden asylum ban punishes children

| February 24, 2023 |

The Biden Administration announced a new rule this week that could disqualify most migrants at the southern border from seeking asylum. Unaccompanied children are

Fact Sheet: Border Policies that Protect and Support Children

| January 18, 2023 |

For several years, the demographic of those arriving at our border seeking safety has shifted to a greater proportion of children and families. These

Biden border visit must ask: Is this good for the children?

| January 13, 2023 |

The New Year resets the clock for the Biden Administration to use the next two years to restore and expand our country’s asylum system

Reunite Filipe — and Ensure Family Separation Never Happens Again

| December 14, 2022 |

The Trump Administration’s family separation policy is a stain on our nation’s history. As we have stated over and over again, it is a

Policy Brief: The Biden Administration Public Charge Regulation —What does it mean for children in immigrant families?

| October 26, 2022 |

Approximately 1-in-4 children in the United States has an immigrant parent, and children of immigrants are the fastest-growing group of children in the United

Fact Sheet: The “Best Interests of the Child” Standard

| August 2, 2022 |

What is the “Best Interests of the Child” standard?  The “best interests of the child” is a principle to ensure government policies safeguard the

Issue Brief: The Case for a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) on Child Well-being

| August 2, 2022 |

THE CHALLENGE  The American people expect government policy to advance the best interests of children. Yet, the data shows that U.S. policy lacks the high-level

There Must be an “After Title 42” for Border Policy

| May 17, 2022 |

From the beginning, First Focus on Children has decried the cruelty of the Title 42 policy, a Trump Administration policy that misused a public

What’s at stake for kids if Congress doesn’t pass Build Back Better

| December 22, 2021 |

As negotiations have stalled and the fate of the Build Back Better Act hangs in the balance, children stand to lose access to monthly