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Project HOPE-VA Youth Summit Older Youth Experiencing Homelessness June 2013 Patricia Julianelle, NAEHCY Legal Director pjulianelle@naehcy.org. Unaccompanied youth: immigration issues. Who Are Undocumented Immigrant Students?. Children without lawful status living with family

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unaccompanied youth immigration issues

Project HOPE-VA Youth Summit

Older Youth Experiencing Homelessness

June 2013

Patricia Julianelle, NAEHCY Legal Director


Unaccompanied youth:immigration issues

who are undocumented immigrant students
Who Are Undocumented Immigrant Students?
  • Children without lawful status living with family
    • 1.1 million undocumented children in U.S. (2009)
  • Unaccompanied youth
    • Over 8,000 placed in U.S. custody each year (and rising)
    • Children under 18 who come to the US without a parent or legal guardian and have no parent or legal guardian, or are separated from family when they cross the border
    • Some may be in immigration proceedings, others may not
    • Fleeing human rights abuses, poverty, natural disasters
what are undocumented students education rights
What Are Undocumented Students’ Education Rights?
  • The same right to attend public school as citizens. Plyler v. Doe (Supreme Court, 1982)
  • Schools cannot require immigration documents or social security numbers for enrollment.
  • Schools cannot ask any immigration questions or “chill” enrollment.
  • So far, none of the recent state laws on immigration changes these requirements!
what if a parent youth shares immigration information voluntarily
What if a Parent/Youth Shares Immigration Information Voluntarily?
  • Do not call immigration authorities.
  • Do not tell others at school or in the community.
  • Do support them as you would support other families and youth.
  • Do offer information about immigration advocacy and service providers.
  • Do not interfere with an active immigration investigation.
what about higher education
What About Higher Education?
  • Undocumented immigrants can apply to public colleges and universities, except for those in AL, GA and SC.
  • CA, CO, CT, IL, KS, MD, MN, NE, NM, NY, OK, OR, TX, UT, WA, and RI (if attended 3 years of HS in the state) provide in-state tuition for resident undocumented immigrants.
higher education financial aid
Higher Education – Financial Aid
  • Federal and most state (except NM and TX) financial aid require immigration documentation.
  • Students who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents are eligible for aid, even if one or both parents are undocumented.
    • However, if the student or parents supply a fake or stolen social security number on the FAFSA, it will be rejected. Students should enter 000-00-0000 as their parent's social security number.
potential paths to legal status
Potential Paths to Legal Status
  • Many, if not most, unaccompanied youth are eligible for legal status.
  • It’s important for youth to start early- age is a factor!
  • It’s important to work with reputable immigration advocates and attorneys!
    • Lots of scams
    • “Rookie mistakes” can lead to deportation
    • Resources at the end
potential paths to legal status vawa
Potential Paths to Legal Status –VAWA
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – Youth has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by an LPR or USC parent or step-parent.
  • Child can also be included as beneficiary on parent’s application when the parent is married to and abused by an LPR or USC.
  • No fee
  • Grants deferred action and work permit
  • Pathway to LPR status and citizenship
potential paths to legal status sijs
Potential Paths to Legal Status –SIJS
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) —
    • Child’s reunification with one or both parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment
    • Not in best interests to return to country of origin
    • Determination is made by a state “juvenile” court upon which the child has been declared dependent
    • Unmarried & under 21; subject to state law age limits
    • Pathway to LPR status and citizenship
    • No fee or fee waiver
potential paths to legal status u visa
Potential Paths to Legal Status –U visa
  • U Visa—A person who (1) has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse from a designated crime, and (2) will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime (or a “next friend” will help).
  • DV and sexual abuse are designated crimes
  • Grants deferred action and work permit; no fee
  • Pathway to LPR status and citizenship
potential paths to legal status t visa
Potential Paths to Legal Status – T visa
  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; OR
  • The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, debt bondage or slavery.
potential paths to legal status asylum
Potential Paths to Legal Status - Asylum
  • Asylum– People who have suffered persecution, or face a reasonable possibility of persecution, in their home country, on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
  • Pathway to LPR status and citizenship
  • No fee to apply
deferred action for childhood arrivals daca
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA)
  • DHS policy allowing certain young people to request protection against deportation for a two-year period and a work permit
  • Discretionary, decided on a case by case basis
  • It is not law. It is not the Dream Act.
  • It does not lead to legal status.
  • Fee is $465; may apply for fee exemption before requesting DACA if under 18 and homeless/in foster care/otherwise lacking any familial support
daca cont
DACA (cont.)
  • Eligibility requirements:
    • Under age 31 and physically present in US on 6/15/12
    • 15 years or older at time of request

(unless previously removed or in removal proceedings)

    • Came to US before 16th birthday
    • Resided in US continuously since 6/15/2007

(brief departure may be okay, but not if removed)

    • Currently in school or completed high school or GED; or honorably discharged from the military
    • No felonies, limited misdemeanors, not a security threat
immigration resources
Immigration Resources
  • Immigration and Schools: Supporting Success for Undocumented Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
    • http://www.naehcy.org/dl/immig.pdf
  • ACLU’s Immigrant Services Directory: Public Resources for Intake Referrals
    • http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/immigrant-services-directory-public-resource-intake-referrals
resources cont
Resources (cont.)
  • Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth


  • Legal Issues for School Districts Related to the Education of Undocumented Children (National School Boards Association and National Education Association, 2009)


resources cont1
Resources (cont.)
  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) www.supportkind.org
  • Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC)www.cliniclegal.org
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service


  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)http://www.ilrc.org/files/youth_handbook_english.pdf
resources higher education
Resources: Higher Education
  • The College Board



  • The Dream Act Portal


  • Dream Activist