Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an important tool in immigration law. It allows young immigrants who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent to obtain temporary or permanent legal residency. This protection does not stop as soon as the child reaches the age of 18 – as long as the petition is under the age of 21 when the petition is filed, he or she can be eligible for SIJS protection. Unfortunately, in the current political climate, SIJS protection has been limited in its application by the federal government. Now, an important class action lawsuit out of California is challenging these limits in order to extend legal protection to young immigrants.
If you or a loved one is in need of SIJS protection, call Michael G. Murray, P.A. today at (512) 215-4407. Michael Murray is an experienced Austin immigration attorney who can help you determine the best way of accessing legal immigration status. Even in today’s political climate, we can help protect you and your family from unfair immigration actions.
What Is This Lawsuit About?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services reports on a federal lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for Northern California. This is a class action suit related to SIJS, filed by a class of plaintiffs who received guardianship orders from a California Probate Court. In spite of these guardianship orders, the federal government has refused to approve the plaintiffs’ SIJS applications under new (and more stringent) requirements for SIJS eligibility. The government argues that the California Probate Court does not have jurisdiction under federal immigration law to reunify the plaintiffs.
The case is currently pending. In the meantime, however, the court has temporarily ordered the government to stop denying these applications based on the authority of the California Probate Court, and not to initiate removal proceedings against – or actually remove – any petitioners in this class. These orders will continue until the case is complete and a final decision is made about the plaintiffs’ SIJ status. The final decision could affect all SIJS applications made across the country. This case represents a stubborn difference in ideology: while the California courts (which tend to be liberal) believe these children are in need of legal protection, the federal government (which is currently staunchly conservative) does not. The real tragedy is that these immigrant children will continue to be placed in danger, all while American taxpayers will foot the legal bills for this expensive litigation.
An Experienced Austin Immigration Attorney Helping Young Immigrants in Need of SIJS Protection
Juvenile immigrants are one of the most vulnerable groups in the entire country. They are faced with the daunting task of navigating the complicated – and often hostile – American immigration system without an adult’s life experience. Children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected are even more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. They need legal protection, and the law offers it. Call Michael G. Murray, P.A. today at (512) 215-4407 or contact us online.
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