Those who live in the United States take our safety and opportunity for granted. Meanwhile, adults and children in neighboring countries face violence and extreme poverty daily. Sometimes, these families reach a breaking point where they feel their lives are in immediate danger, and they have no choice but to flee their country and come to the United States.
When the United States immigration system does not work for those who need it the most, it is broken. At its best, our immigration system is a slow-moving machine with many faulty parts. Special immigrant juvenile status is an option for some children entering the United States by unconventional means.
It is unreasonable to expect an unaccompanied minor or one of their parents to understand United States immigration law. Therefore, an Augusta immigration lawyer in Augusta is essential.
Unaccompanied Minors Coming to the United States
More children than ever are coming to this country without their parents. According to CBS News, nearly 130,000 unaccompanied migrant children enter the United States shelter system annually. The unfortunate reality is that many of these children will never reunite with both of their parents.
Unaccompanied minors often come to the United States because their parents have the best intentions. Their parents are fleeing their country because of violence or poverty, and they feel that the only way for their children to have a safe life is by coming to the United States by any means necessary. If that means leaving in the middle of the night with whatever belongings they can carry on their backs, so be it.
During this process, parents and children frequently become separated, with parents more concerned about their children making it to the United States, even if they cannot join them. It is the perfect example of parents putting their children’s health and welfare above their own.
The emotional and physical toll the parents and children in these situations must endure is immense. These parents and children make the greatest sacrifice in the hopes of a better life in a new country. While it is not an easy road, special immigrant juvenile status is a potential option for these children.
For a free legal consultation with a special immigrant juvenile status (sijs) visa lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Under the law, the “Special Immigrant Juvenile” classification allows some undocumented children to obtain temporary or permanent legal immigration status. Certain criteria must be met for this to happen, including the child being declared a dependent on a juvenile court or in the foster care system. They must also be unable to reunite with one or more of their parents.
After the unaccompanied minors are in the United States, assuming the child is not already in foster care, someone must seek and obtain guardianship or legal custody of the minor. Both parents do not need to abandon a child for one of them to seek special immigrant juvenile status. If one of the parents can reunite with the child, they can seek custody and file for special immigrant juvenile status because of the other parent’s abandonment, abuse, or neglect of the minor.
Augusta Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Visa Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Abandonment, Neglect, & Abuse
Abandonment can be physical or constructive. An example of physical abandonment is a parent leaving a child alone at home for days with no food or water. On the other hand, constructive abandonment can be as simple as a parent telling their child that they are never coming back home or that they want to child to leave home and never return.
Neglect is similar to abandonment in that it can involve a parent failing to provide a child with the necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. If a parent does not provide an adequate amount of any of these essentials, it can be proof of neglect.
Similar to abandonment, abuse can take on more than one form. It can be physical, such as when a parent strikes their child. Abuse can also be emotional, where a parent verbally insults and criticizes a child to the point where they feel unsafe or traumatized.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Statute
Under United States law, certain conditions need to be met to qualify for special immigrant status. They include the following:
- The immigrant must be present in the United States
- A United States juvenile court must declare that the immigrant child cannot be reunited with one or both of their parents because of abandonment, neglect, or abuse
It is important to note that the Secretary of Homeland Security must consent to the creation of this special immigrant juvenile status and that it not be extended to the child’s parents. As a result of how complex and subtle this statute is, working with an Augusta special immigrant juvenile status visa lawyer is advised.
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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status & Lawful Permanent Residence
If a child is granted special immigrant juvenile status, that does not mean they are lawful permanent residents of the United States. However, it is one step in the right direction. Having a special immigrant juvenile status opens the door to securing a green card.
Once a minor has received the special immigrant juvenile status designation, they can go through an adjustment of status and apply for a green card to attain lawful permanent residents in the United States. An Augusta special immigrant juvenile status visa attorney can guide minors and their legal guardians to achieve the desired outcome.
Contact Barrios & Virgüez for Augusta Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Help
Need assistance with attaining special immigrant juvenile status in Augusta? We want to help you. Our attorneys’ lives have been marked by adversity. We understand what our clients are going through and are committed to helping them through the process every step of the way.
We know what it is like for those in vulnerable situations to be taken advantage of, and we want to ensure that does not happen to our clients. Contact us so a special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) visa attorney in Augusta can help you through this difficult time.