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These Young People Were Told They Could Stay in the U.S. They Might Get Deported Anyway.

January 28, 2021 (1 min read)

ANDREW R. CALDERÓN, The Marshall Project, Jan. 28, 2021

"Special Immigrant Juvenile status was created by Congress in 1990 to provide “humanitarian protection for abused, neglected, or abandoned child immigrants.”  After arriving in the U.S., young people must go to state juvenile court to request a ruling of abuse, neglect or abandonment by one or both of their parents. They must also be placed in the custody of a legal guardian or in foster care. If the state court approves the request, they can then apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that manages the nation’s legal immigration system, for the juvenile status.  Although an approval gives young people permission to request a green card, paradoxically, it does not grant them authorization to remain in the country. So most of them must simultaneously fight deportation in immigration court until a green card becomes available.  And green cards are hard to come by."