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


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


For World Children’s Day, the US Should Give Kids Their Rights

| November 20, 2020 |

On November 9, 2020, United Nations member states gathered in person and virtually to evaluate the United States’ human rights record. This process, called


Key Stats on the Effect of COVID-19 on Kids

| November 19, 2020 |

The COVID-19 pandemic is doing more than exposing the racial, ethnic, and economic disparities existing in our society; it is compounding them, and so


The administration has violated the rights of 13,000 unaccompanied immigrant children

| November 4, 2020 |

The new House committee report on family separation, paired with recent revelations that the Trump Administration exploited a rarely used provision of a 1944


New Report Imagines a New System for Immigrant Children

| October 29, 2020 |

A new report by the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights lays out what advocates have long known: We need our immigration system to