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


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


International students add spark to our educational system. New visa rules would end that

| October 28, 2020 |

At the beginning of 2003, a little under a year and a half after September 11th, the Department of Homeland Security implemented the Student


Trump Administration attacks on the International Criminal Court deprive children of justice

| October 14, 2020 |

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is not a court many Americans know about. People may talk about sending officials who commit crimes to “The


New York Times confirms: government agencies used child separation as a weapon against immigrant families

| October 7, 2020 |

Last night, the New York Times confirmed what we all knew — the White House and every government agency that interacts with immigrant children