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Legalization Remedies for Undocumented Children NACC Conference – Achieving Equity for Children and Families, October 2 PowerPoint Presentation
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Of Catholic Charities Atlanta 404-885-7483 or rsalmon@archatl.com Rebeca E. Salmon, Esq. A Salmon Firm, LLC ICAP Contract Attorney. Legalization Remedies for Undocumented Children NACC Conference – Achieving Equity for Children and Families, October 20-23, 2010 .

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slide1

Of Catholic Charities Atlanta

404-885-7483 or rsalmon@archatl.com

Rebeca E. Salmon, Esq.

A Salmon Firm, LLCICAP Contract Attorney

Legalization Remedies for Undocumented Children

NACC Conference – Achieving Equity for Children and Families, October 20-23, 2010

what remedies are there

T nonimmigrant status for victims of Human Trafficking

  • U nonimmigrant status for victims of crimes
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) relief for domestic violence victims
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ) for child abuse, abandonment and neglect victims
...What remedies are there?
slide3

Immigrants can be particularly vulnerable to crimes like human trafficking, domestic violence and child abuse

    • Language barrier, separation from family and friends, lack of understanding of US laws, fear of deportation, fear of law enforcement, cultural differences
  • Congress created several forms of immigration relief that are available to undocumented immigrants who become victims
t nonimmigrant status t visa
Provides immigration protection to victims of human trafficking
  • Congress wanted to aid law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting human trafficking by providing a way for undocumented immigrant victims to remain in the US to assist in an investigation or prosecution
  • What is trafficking?
    • Modern day form ofslavery
    • migrant workers, sweatshops, sex trade, domestic servitude
T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa)
slide6

In order to be eligible for a T visa a victim must:

  • Be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
  • Be physically present in the United States.
  • Comply with any reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation or prosecution (or be under the age of 18 or cannot participate due to trauma).
  • Suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

slide7

Self-petitioning application—do not need a sponsor (law enforcement certification is optional)

  • Can apply for family members
  • 5,000 visas each fiscal year for victims and no limit for family members
  • Eligible to work in the US
  • 4 year duration of status (extensions are available)
  • May adjust status to lawful permanent resident

Benefits

u nonimmigrant status u visa
Provides immigration protection to victims of certain types of crimes
  • Congress wanted to aid law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting crime by providing a way for undocumented immigrant victims to remain in the US to assist in an investigation or prosecution
U Nonimmigrant Status (U visa)
what crimes qualify
Rape Involuntary servitude

Torture Slave trade

Trafficking Kidnapping

Incest Unlawful criminal restraint

Domestic violence False imprisonment

Sexual assault Blackmail

Abusive sexual conduct Extortion

Prostitution Manslaughter

Sexual exploitation Murder

Female genital mutilation Felonious assault

Being held hostage Witness tampering

Peonage Obstruction of justice

*Includes attempts, conspiracy, or solicitation.

*Includes any similar activity where the nature and elements of the unlisted crime are substantially similar.

What crimes qualify?
eligibility requirements
In order to be eligible for a U visa a victim must:
  • Be a victim of qualifying criminal activity and suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime.
  • Possess information about the qualifying criminal activity.
  • Have been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to the investigation and/or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity.
  • Be a victim of criminal activity that violated a U.S. law.
Eligibility Requirements
benefits
Self-petitioning application—do not need a sponsor (requires law enforcement certification)
  • Can apply for family members
  • 10,000 visas each fiscal year for victims, no limit for family members
  • Eligible to work in the US
  • 4 year duration of status (extensions are available)
  • Can Adjust status to lawful permanent resident
Benefits
violence against women act vawa
Provides immigration relief to victims of domestic violence
  • Congress recognized that immigrant victims of domestic violence may remain in an abusive relationship because immigration status is often tied to their abuser.
  • VAWA is a “self-petitioning” relief that removes control from the abuser and allows the victim to submit his or her own application that are filed without the abuser’s knowledge or consent.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
who qualifies
Who may file?
  • Spouses - The abused spouse of a USC/LPR (child may be included as a derivative beneficiary)
  • Children - The abused child of a USC/LPR
    • Including: The spouse of a USC/LPR whose child has been abused may file a self-petition based on the abuse of the child. In this case, the parent files based on abuse of the child, but both parent and child benefit.
  • Parents– The abused parent of a USC (added by VAWA 2005)
  • VAWA immigration relief applies equally to women and men (this gender neutrality was reiterated by VAWA 2005)
Who Qualifies?
eligibility requirements1
Is or wasmarriedto USC or LPR
  • Is child of USC or LPR
  • Is parent of USC
  • Marriage was in good faith
  • Subjected to battery or extreme cruelty during the marriage
  • Resides or Resided with the abuser
  • Good moral character
Eligibility Requirements
benefits1
Placed in deferred action to prevent removal from the US
  • Can work in the US
  • Changes to the abuser’s immigration status will not affect the victim’s self-petition
  • Remarriage after approval does not affect status
  • Can adjust status to lawful permanent resident
Benefits
what is special immigrant juvenile status sijs

Protection for children who do not have lawful status and who have been abused, abandoned or neglected in the U.S. or abroad.

    • Applies to children who have just crossed the border as unaccompanied minors.
    • Applies to children who were brought here by family members and grew up in the United States.
  • This individual form of protection.
  • This status requires interplay of federal immigration law, international treaty law and 50 different state child welfare codes.
What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)?
what laws and procedures apply

Federal Law (Defining SIJS Law and Procedure)

  • HR7311- TVRPA
  • Statute (INA §101(a)(27)(j))
  • Code of Federal Regulations (8 CFR §204.11)
  • INS Memoranda (August 1998)

State Law (Defining Abuse, Abandonment & Neglect; Best Interests)

  • State Revised Statutes
  • State Case law

International Law (Defining Best Interests/ Basic Human Rights & Protections)

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • Declaration on the Rights of the Child
WHAT LAWS AND PROCEDURES APPLY?
federal responsibilites for juvenile aliens

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (“HSA”) reorganized federal responsibilities for juvenile aliens. Prior to the HSA, the former INS was responsible for apprehending and detaining all juvenile aliens. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 created the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).

DHS has assigned juvenile responsibilities to the Bureaus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). Both were given responsibility for apprehending, processing, and transporting all juvenile aliens. DHS is also responsible for caring and housing accompanied juvenile aliens.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”), a section of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was assigned responsibility for caring and housing unaccompanied juvenile aliens who are detained by DHS pending resolution of immigration cases enforced by DHS.

A Statement of Principles guides the relationship between DHS and ORR, but discussions continue on a Memorandum of Understanding to govern the different responsibilities of the agencies for juvenile aliens. For instance, there are still different interpretations of what is an unaccompanied minor and which agency has responsibility for that minor.

FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITES FOR JUVENILE ALIENS
brief history of sijs immigration and nationality act

In 1990, Representative Morrison introduced legislation in the House of Representatives (H.R. 4300) that created SIJS.

  • This became law through the Immigration Act of 1990
    • Nov. 29, 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978. INA§101(a)(27)(J)(i); 8 USC §1101(a)(27)(J)(i)
  • In 1997, the SIJS section was amended by Sec. 113, Act of Nov. 26, 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-119, 111 Stat. 2460 providing that no state juvenile court has jurisdiction to determine the custody status or placement of an alien in DHS custody unless the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (formerly the Attorney General) specifically and expressly consents to such jurisdiction. 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J)(iii)(I)
BRIEF HISTORY OF SIJS: IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT
william wilberforce trafficking victims protection reauthorization act of 2008

Section 235 of TVPRA …Effective date: March 23, 2009

  • SIJS must be adjudicated within 180 days!
  • Prevents age-outs
    • File by 18- age frozen
    • Still in proceedings – grandfathered (effective December 23, 2008)
  • Changes the Juvenile Court Order requirements from ‘long term foster care’ to ‘reunification with 1 or both parents not viable’
  • Transfers specific consent authority to U.S. Dept of HHS
  • Asylum relief
    • Children no longer have 1 year filing deadline
    • Asylum office has jurisdiction even if previous deport
William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008
slide21

TVRPA Clarified intentions of Congress in protecting vulnerable foreign born children and enhanced efforts to combat trafficking and ensure safe repatriation when appropriate

    • Secretary of State shall negotiate agreements between the U.S. and contiguous countries with respect to repatriation procedures
    • No child shall be returned to the child’s country of nationality or of last habitual residence unless returned to appropriate employees or officials [through proper diplomatic channels]
    • Implement best practices to ensure safe and sustainable repatriation and reintegration
      • Determinations include assessment of country conditions through Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Trafficking in Person’s Report
slide22

Sec 235(d)(4)(A) provides:

  • STATE REIMBURSEMENTS!!
    • Increases access to federal funds for state agencies providing services under section 501(a) of Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980
    • Makes eligible for placement and services under INA 412(d), in parity with refugee children
    • Title IV federal financial assistance

Sec 235(d)(4)(B) provides:

  • DFCS REIMBURSEMENTS!!
    • “[s]ubject to the availability of appropriations,” the federal government shall reimburse the state for state foster care funds expended on behalf of children granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008

slide23

SPECIFICALLY WAIVED

  • Most Juvenile Delinquency
  • Public Charge
  • Labor Certification
  • Present without admission or Parole (without inspection)
  • Stowaway
  • Misrepresentation/ Fraud
  • Lack of Valid Entry Document
  • Unlawful Presence
  • WAIVABLE
  • Health related grounds
  • Prostitution and commercialized vice
  • Alcoholics or people with “mental, physical disorders”
  • Drug addicts or abusers
  • Association with terrorist organization
  • Immigration violators
  • Aliens previously removed
  • NOTWAIVABLE
  • Certain crimes (aggravated felonies)
  • Multiple criminal convictions
  • Controlled substance traffickers
  • Terrorist activities

Inadmissibility...

requirement one

Under the age of 21

  • While the federal eligibility criteria extend to age 21, in the state of Georgia, juvenile court extends to age 18.
  • It may be possible to raise arguments for extension of jurisdiction in special cases.
  • TVRPA resolved this
REQUIREMENT ONE
requirement two

Unmarried

  • A child’s having his/her own children is not a bar to SIJS.
REQUIREMENTTWO
requirement three

Deprived under State Law

  • Declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom such a court has legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a State (INA §101(a)(27)(J))
    • Deprived under Georgia Law 15-11-8
      • Child could be in Independent Living Program, long-term foster care placement, Permanent Guardianship situation, group home, placed with non-parent relative or living with court-appointed guardians.
REQUIREMENTTHREE
requirement four

Reunification with parent not viable

  • Whose reunification with 1 or both of the immigrant’s parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under State law. (INA §101(a)(27)(J))
    • Does not require the court to address both parents, one will do
      • Caution: if one parent still caring for child – not going to work!
    • Does not require termination of parental rights
REQUIREMENTFOUR
requirement five

Best interest to remain in current placement

  • It has been determined in administrative or judicial proceedings that it would not be in the child’sbest interest to return to her home country or last habitual residence
REQUIREMENTFIVE
requirement six n a

The Attorney General specifically consents (“SPECIFIC CONSENT”) to jurisdiction of juvenile court to determine the custody status or placement of a child if the child is in actual or constructive custody of the Attorney General

  • Children in actual or constructive custody are children who are currently detained in an ORR shelter or in long-term foster care through ORR. If the child has been released to a family sponsor or has never been detained, the minor is not in DHS custody. (Stated Policy- Mr. John Pogash)
  • For children in actual or constructive custody, before going into state juvenile court, you must obtain specific consent from the National Director on Juvenile Detention and Removal Operations. (Third Memorandum)
  • If you do not obtain specific consent before going into state court, the state juvenile court order is invalid for purposes of SIJS. (Third Memorandum)
REQUIREMENT SIX (n/a)
caution

The child must remain under juvenile court jurisdiction for the entire time that the immigration applications are pending. (8 CFR 204.11(c)(5))

    • TVPRA should address this
CAUTION
overview of the sijs process not in removal

State Dependency Proceedings

  • File 1-step (I-360,I-485,I-765, I-131,G-325A, birth certificate, medicals, fee waiver, pictures)
  • Have ASC Biometrics' taken

-- EAD issued within 90 days (SSN)

  • Adjustment of Status interview before U.S.C.I.S. officer
  • LPR granted

-- within 180 days of filing

  • Age 18 and if LPR 5 years -- apply for citizenship
OVERVIEW OF THE SIJS PROCESS:NOT IN REMOVAL
overview of the sijs process in removal proceedings

Concurrently

-- Child must attend All EOIR Removal Master Calendar Hearings

-- Dependency Proceedings in State Court

  • File I-360*

-- Once approved, request joint Motion to Terminate from ICE

-- Deportation stopped and case transferred back to USCIS

  • File I-485
  • Have ASC Biometrics' taken

-- EAD issued within 90 days of 485 filing (SSN)

  • Adjustment of Status interview before U.S.C.I.S. officer
  • LPR granted

-- within 180 days of filing the 485

7. Age 18 and if LPR 5 years -- apply for citizenship

OVERVIEW OF THE SIJS PROCESS:IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS
cover page

LAST, First Middle

A #: xx

I-360 and I-485 Petition to Adjust Status

Submitted to:

USCIS

P.O. Box 805887

Chicago, IL 60680-4120

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

PLEASE RUSH

Enclosed: Attached to application

(I-360) no fee

(I-485) $1010.00/ FEE WAIVER

(I-131) incl

(I-765) incl.

TOTAL $1010.00/ or FEE WAIVER*

  • G-28 Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney
  • (3) photos of Petitioner
  • Sealed Medical Exams
    • I-360, I-485, G-325A (if over 14), I-765, I-131
    • Supporting Documentation
      • Birth Certificate w/ translation
      • Juvenile Court Order with required findings highlighted
  • Additional beneficial supporting documentation (not required)

Good school records

Medical records/ Psych evaluations if abused

Letters of support of child from community

Photos of child in their life here

*IF FEE WAIVER – clearly mark outside of envelope and every page of each petition

COVER PAGE
slide36

Prepare well in advance

    • Know your client
    • Know your juvenile court
    • Juvenile Delinquency/ Deprivation require certified dispositions
  • Immigration Attorney is crucial
    • Communicate with Imm. Ct and District Counsel
      • Motion to Reopen// Motion to Dismiss
    • Monitor USCIS process
    • Evaluate for Grounds of Inadmissibility
    • Prepare I-601 Waiver w/ supporting documentation
  • Keep options open
    • T- visa
    • U- visa
    • VAWA
    • SIJS
    • Asylum
    • Voluntary Departure*
  • Men 18-26 MUST REGISTER FOR SELECTIVE SERVICE

Practice Pointers

we just want to feel safe

Karen from Honduras – sold to coyotes

  • Juan from El Salvador – rode his bike
  • Diego from Mexico – fled constant abuse
  • Marisol from Guatemala – father killed sister
  • Alex from Honduras- shot by gangs
  • Ileana from Nicaragua – abused by step-dad
  • Michael from Nigeria – Mom died in car accident
  • Trish from Lagos – Dad abandoned her with aunt
  • Christina from Mexico – been in DFCS care all her life
…we just want to feel safe
slide38
To be alone.

To be alone and lost.

To be alone and lost in a foreign country.

To be alone, abandoned or abused, lost and in a foreign country.

…And to be a child.