Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

and Other Immigration Options for Children & Youth
4th Edition
Angie Junck, Alison Kamhi & Rachel Prandini with Kristen Jackson & Helen Lawrence
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Immigrant children and youth may be eligible for special types of immigration relief available just for children or they may be eligible for immigration relief in different ways than adults.  In addition, separate procedures may and often do apply in the immigration process for children and youth.  A federal law enacted in December 2008, called the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), introduced important protections for the treatment of unaccompanied minors in the immigration system, many of which have continued to be clarified in recent years.  This manual is an essential guide for those representing the increased number of unaccompanied minors who have migrated to the United States in recent years, as well as those representing immigrant youth who were brought to the United States at a young age and know no other home.

In particular, this manual seeks to provide background and guidance on the protections, procedures, and immigration options for immigrant children, including unaccompanied minors under the TVPRA.  It has a special focus on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”), with an in-depth discussion of the legal requirements for SIJS eligibility, including “one-parent” SIJS cases, and step-by-step guidance for representing SIJS-eligible youth in both affirmative and defensive applications.  The manual also provides information on other immigration options for children and youth including: U Nonimmigrant Status, T Nonimmigrant Status, Violence Against Women Act protection, asylum (with a special discussion of unaccompanied minor asylum cases and evolving social group claims), family-based immigration options, citizenship, and others.  It also addresses specialized issues such as working with and representing child clients, immigration consequences of delinquency and drug trafficking or gang involvement, and the immigration detention system for youth.  The manual contains many useful items for practitioners, including sample screening forms, SIJS and other applications, state court motions, immigration court motions, court orders and other resources for helping advocates and their clients understand and interact with the juvenile court, immigration court, and immigration authorities.

New in this edition

  • Updated discussion on working with and representing children and youth
  • Updates on court processes and options for unaccompanied minors, including expedited dockets, U.S. juvenile immigration detention system, and new
  • in-country refugee and parole program for certain youth in Central America
  • Expanded and updated discussion of “one-parent” SIJS cases, including an overview of the state law addressing these claims and practice tips
  • Expanded discussion of the grounds of inadmissibility as they most commonly apply to youth, including special focus on the emerging defenses to the inadmissibility ground for “reason to believe” that someone is a drug trafficker
  • New chapter on immigration relief for victims of trafficking (T visas)
  • Revised chapter on “other forms of immigration relief” for immigrant youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)