Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Explained:...

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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Explained: Obtaining Family Court Orders for Under 21 Year Old Family and Sexual Violence Survivors July 29, 2015 Workshop I, Session B New Orleans, LA 1 National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project, American University Washington College of Law

Transcript of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Explained:...

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SpecialImmigrantJuvenileStatusExplained:ObtainingFamilyCourtOrdersforUnder21YearOldFamilyandSexualViolence

Survivors

July29,2015WorkshopI,SessionBNewOrleans,LA

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Introductions• LeslyeOrloff

• Director,NationalImmigrantWomen’sAdvocacyProject

• CommissionerLorettaYoung• NewCastleCountyFamilyCourt,Wilmington,

Delaware

• JudgeMaryWeir• JacksonCountyCourt,KansasCity,Missouri

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LearningObjectives:Bytheendofthisworkshopyouwillbeableto:

• ScreenvictimsforSpecialImmigrantJuvenileStatus(SIJS)eligibilityandthedifferentkindsofqualifyingabuse

• KnowthedifferencesbetweenOVWandLegalServicesCorporation(LSC)representationrulesforSIJSyouth

• Addressjurisdiction,venue,service,andapplicablelawissuesinSIJScases

• ObtainSIJSfindingsfromstatefamilycourts

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LargeGroupDiscussion

WhatarethequestionsaboutobtainingstatecourtfindingsforSIJSyouththatyouwouldlikeansweredbytheendofthisworkshop?

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HAVESOUGHTFINDINGSFROMSTATECOURTJUDGESFORSIJSYOUTH?

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UnderstandingSIJSStatutoryHistory

• CountersjudicialassumptionsthatSIJSisonlyavailableforyouthinfostercare

• Essentialtoensurethatyouthlivingwithonenon‐abusiveparentcanstillaccessSIJS– Undernewoneorbothparentprovisions

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SIJS:StatutoryAuthority§ 101(a)(27)(J),codifiedat8USC§ 1101(a)(27)(J)

• SIJSwascreatedbythe ImmigrationandNationalityActof1990

• CongresscreatedSIJSto:– Aidundocumentedyouthlivinginthefostercaresystem

– Providestabilitythroughlawfulpermanentresidency

• Amended3timestoexpandprotection

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SIJSAmendments• 1997:ExpandedSIJStohelpyouthwhowere“abused,abandoned,orneglected”

• 2005:VAWAbarredDHSfromcompellingyouthtocontactandgainconsentfromallegedabusiveparent(s)

• 2008:“OneorBoth”Parents– Clarifiedeligibilityforyouthlivingwithaprotectiveparent,includingbatteredimmigrantparents

– Requiredfindingthatreunificationnotviablewithatleastoneparent

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2008SIJSAmendments• Anystatecourtwithjurisdictiontoaddresscareorcustodyofachild– Longtermfostercarenotrequired– Anycourtthat,understatelaw,hasjurisdictiontoaddressaspectsof“careorcustody”ofachild

• Statecourtsadjudicate“abuse,abandonment,orneglect”– Applystatelawwithoutregardtowhereabuseoccurred– DHSnolongerauthorizedtoinquireaboutdetailsoftheabusefromyouthapplicant

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Statutevs.Regulation

Requires Child

Eligible for Long Term Foster Care

INA Statute

Implements the

Provisions of the

Statute

FederalRegulation

Changes the

definition of SIJS

TVPRAAmendsStatute

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SIJSregulationshaveNOT beenupdatedsincethe2008amendments

1990 1993 2008 2015

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SpecialImmigrantJuvenileStatusRequirements

• Under 21 (or state law age of majority) & unmarried• Abused, abandoned, or neglected (as defined by state

law) by one or both parents • In the U.S. or abroad• Must be present in the U.S. when filing for SIJS

• Have a family/juvenile court order • Addressing custody, care, dependency of a child• That reunification with at least one parent who abused,

abandoned, or neglected the child is not viable• That it is not in the child’s best interest to be returned to the

child’s home country• Best interest as defined under state law• State court findings required as evidence

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AccesstoLegalImmigrationStatus• Providesapathtoeconomicsecurity

– Workauthorization– Driver’slicense

• Removesfearofdeportation,promotesstabilityandfacilitatesaccessto:– Nurturingfamilyrelationships– Stableschoolenvironment– Mentors,rolemodels,andcommunitysupport

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AddressingCare,Custody,orDependency

• Courtmusthavejurisdictionunderstatelawtomakejudicialdeterminationsaboutthecustodyandcareofchildren

• Courtorderfinds:– TheminorisadependentofthecourtOR– legallyplacesthechildwithastateorprivateagency,ORaprivateperson

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AddressingCare,Custody,orDependency

• Satisfiedinmorethanhalfofallfamilycourtorders

• TheCourtregularlymakedeterminationson:– whowillbethecustodianoftheminor;– whotheminorwilllivewith;or– whethertheminorwillbecommittedtothecustodyofthestateorprivateagencyforcare,treatment,orrehabilitation

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SIJSinStateCourts• SIJSopportunitiesappearfrequentlyinfamilycourtbecausetheCourt’sprimaryroleisprotectingandensuringthesafetyofchildrenandfamilies

• MostSIJScasesare15‐17yearoldminors• CourtsandattorneysshouldconsiderSIJSasanoptionanytimeachildisnota– Citizenorlawfulpermanentresident

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TimingofSIJSOrders• Shouldbeissuedbeforeaminorturnsageofmajorityunderstatelaw

• Understatelaw,somecourtsmayhavecontinuedjurisdictionoveryouthbetweenageofmajorityand21

• Ifroutinelyconsideredinanycaseinwhichanon‐citizenminorcomesbeforeafamilycourt,fewerchildrenwill“ageout”ofSIJS

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WhatMinorswithSIJStatusReceive• Whilecaseispending:

– Protectionfromdeportationandremoval– Considered“lawfullypresent”andeligiblefor– healthcareexchanges(nosubsidies),educationbenefits

– Programsandservicesnecessarytoprotectlifeandsafety

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WhatMinorsGrantedSIJStatusReceive

• Atapproval:– LawfulPermanentResidency(separate,butusuallyconcurrentfiling)

– Legalworkauthorization– Bringsaccesstostateissueddriver’slicensesandidentificationcards

– Eligibleforcitizenshipafter5years– Postsecondaryeducationalgrantsandloans;publicandassistedhousing

– Foodstamps(onlyuntiltheimmigrantchildturnsage19)SIJSrecipientmayNEVERfilefamilypetitionforeitheroftherecipient’snaturalparents

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LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION

Scenario#1:Lita

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SIJSEligibility:AttorneysandAdvocates

• Screeningshouldbeconductedoften• AbusemayhaveoccurredbeforethejuvenileenteredtheUnitedStatesORafter• Possibleincreasedriskforvictimizationforimmigrantjuvenilesreunifiedwithfamilyand/orstepparents

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ListalltypesofstatecourtcasesinwhichachildvictimcanseekspecialfindingsforSIJS?

SmallGroupDiscussion

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TypesofProceedingstoRequestSpecialFindingsforImmigrantYouth

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• Childabuse/neglect• Dependency• Childreninneedofsupervision• Adoption• Terminationofparentalrights• Guardianship• Paternity• Childsupport• Custody/visitation/modification• Protectionorders• Divorce• Legalseparation• Delinquency• Motionsforadeclaratoryjudgment

Procedural Issues: May require consolidation of cases to attain ability to make needed findings

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DeclaratoryJudgments• Adeclaratoryjudgmentcanbeausefultoolforobtainingnecessarystatecourtfindings

• 4thingsyoumustconsiderbasedonyourstate’slawandpolicies:– Availabilityofadeclaratoryjudgmentstatute– Isthereliefsoughtavalidstatecourtfunction?– Isthechildinfederalorstatecustody?– Willadeclaratoryjudgmentfurtherthechild’sbenefitseligibilityforpublicbenefitsinthestate?

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StatesWithDeclaratoryJudgmentStatutesThatCanbeUsedinSIJSCases

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LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION

Scenario#2:Susan

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ChallengesandMisconceptionsAboutthe“Oneor BothParent”Requirement

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OneParentSIJSCases• “Reunificationwithoneorbothparentsisnotviableduetoabuse,neglect,orabandonment,orothersimilarbasisinstatelaw”

• SIJSeligiblechildrenmaybelivingwith:– Fosterfamily– Appointedguardian– Non‐abusiveparent

• Intendedtoprotect– Parentswhoarealsosurvivorsofdomesticviolence– Thechild’srelationshipwithnon‐offendingparent

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Scenarios• Participantsworkinsmallgroupsondifferentscenarios– Table1=Scenario#3:Lili– Table2=Scenario#4:Etta– Table3=Scenario#5:CC– Table4=Scenario#6:Karen

• Reportbackanddiscussscenarioquestions,SIJSeligibilityjurisdiction,service,andbestinterest

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FactorsConsideredinDeciding:BestInterestoftheChildtoRemainintheU.S.?

• BestinterestincludescomparisonoffactorsintheU.S.andchild’shomecountry

• Usefultoprovideevidenceofcountryconditions• Bestinterestsdefinedbystatelawincluding:

• Riskofdangertothechild• Familysupportsystem• Emotionalwellbeing• Educationalresources• Statelawsthatprecludeordiscourageplacementwithabusiveparent

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JurisdictionUndertheUCCJEA• Homestatejurisdiction

– 6monthsinthestate– Foreigncountrycountsasa“homestate”

• Temporaryemergencyjurisdiction– Mayvarybystate– Generallymayassertwhenthejuvenileispresentinthestateandisabandonedorabused

– Inmanystates,temporaryemergencyjurisdictioncanevolveintofulljurisdiction

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EnsuretheStateCourtOrderSatisfiesUSCISRequirementsBy:

• Clearlyarticulatingstatelawbasisforjurisdictionovertheminorinthecasebeforethecourt

• Issuingrulingscontainingdetailsofthecourt’sfactualfindingsregarding:– Abuse,abandonment,and/orneglect– Bestinterests– Includestatecaselawcitations

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EnsuretheStateCourtOrderSatisfiesUSCISRequirementsBy:

• Articulatingfactuallyhowtheorderfurthersthecourt’sroleunderstatelawof:– Protectingandensuringthesafetyofminors– Furtheringchildren’sbestinterests– Issuingordersregardingthecustody,placement,andcareofminors

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InadmissibilityLawsThatAreApplicabletoSIJSCases

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StandardInadmissibilityGroundsThatDoNOTApplytoSIJSapplicants

• Unlawfulpresence• Immigrantspresentwithoutadmissionorparole• Misrepresentation,includingfalseclaimtoU.S.citizenship

• Stowaways• Violationsoflaborcertificationlaws• Immigrantsnotinpossessionofavalidunexpiredimmigrantvisa,reentrypermit,bordercrossingidentificationcard,orothervalidentrydocument

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WaivableOffenses

• Prostitutionandcommercializedvice• Failuretoattendremovalproceedings• Immigrantsunlawfullypresentafterpreviousimmigrationviolations

• Certainimmigrantsinvolvedinseriouscriminalactivitywhohaveassertedimmunityfromprosecution

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Non‐WaivableOffensesCanResultinDenialofLawfulPermanentResidencytoSIJSChildren

• Theftandshopliftingconvictions• Findingsandadmissionsregardingdrugs(exceptlessthan30gramsofmarijuana)

• Domesticviolence• Childabuseorexploitation• Multiplecriminalconvictions• Controlledsubstancetraffickers• Espionage,terroristactivities,genocide,torture,orextrajudicialkilling

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TechnicalAssistanceandMaterials

• PowerPointpresentationsandmaterialsforthisconferenceatwww.niwap.org/go/NOLA2015

• NIWAPTechnicalAssistance:– Call(202)274‐4457– E‐[email protected]

• WebLibrary:www.niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu

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Questions

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Evaluations

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Thankyou!

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UniversityWashingtonCollege of Law

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THIS PROJECT WAS SUPPORTED BY GRANT NO. 2013-TA-AX-K009 AWARDED BY THE OFFICE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE OPINIONS, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS PUBLICATION/PROGRAM/EXHIBITION ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, OFFICE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.