Winning Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors: the Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody and Parental Rights (2017)

Veronica T. Thronson, Carole Angel, Soraya Fata, Rocio Molina, Benish Anver, Kalli Wells and Leslye E. Orloff, Winning Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors: The Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody and Parental Rights.  9 Fam. & Intimate Partner Violence Q. 2-3, 1-169 (2017) This article discusses a wide range of topics that arise in custody cases […]

[pdf] NIWAP Newsletter – October 2014: VAWA Confidentiality (+)

In this issue:
– Violence Against Women Act’s Special Immigration VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Immigrant Survivors
– Types of Immigrants Eligible for VAWA Confidentiality Disclosure Limitations
– Who Can Benefit from VAWA Confidentiality Protection?
– VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Eligible Immigrants
– Examples of Violations
– Exceptions to VAWA Confidentiality
– Penalties for Violating VAWA Confidentiality
– Reporting Violations to DHS
– How to Prepare to Address VAWA Confidentiality in State Courts

Evidence Checklists For Work With Immigrant Survivors (February 11, 2017)

NIWAP has developed a number of checklists that assist attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors to prepare for a variety of legal cases on behalf of immigrant survivors.  Some of the following checklists are geared toward preparing to accompany a victim who will be applying for state or federal public benefits that the victim […]

[pdf] BIA Amius Brief on Recent Research Concerning the Neurobiological, Cognitive, and Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents (July 11, 2016) (+)

This Amicus brief was submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals and addresses an important issue presented by Amicus Invitation No. I 6-06-09, focusing on how the term “minor” should be defined and understood by the Board in child asylum cases in light of the substantial body of recent research concerning the neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development of children and adolescents. This brief will focus on the significant and deleterious effect trauma and
maltreatment have on that development, including the impact of impaired development on the readiness of child migrants to file asylum applications.

[pdf] Slides from A Trauma Informed Approach to Attorney/Client Relationships and Collaborations: Strategies for Divorce, Custody, Protection Orders, and Immigration Cases (+)

These slides were presented by Mercedes V. Lorduy, Mary Ann Dutton, and Aparna Bhattacharyya at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.

*Breaking Barriers Table of Contents

Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to […]

[pdf] DHS Enforcement Priorities: Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges (+)

The purpose of this bench card is to inform courts about DHS protections available to all immigrants so that the court can assess cases with an understanding of real policies and see official memoranda describing the intended protections available.

[pdf] In Re Interest of Angelica L. and Daniel L. (N.W.2d) (+)

Unanimous decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court overturning the termination of parental rights of an immigrant mother who was detained and deported and who was not provided language access to the state family court proceedings. The court found that immigrant parents, including undocumented, detained and deported parents and their children have a Constitutional right in the parent child relationship that must be preserved absent specific findings of abuse. In Termination of Parental rights proceedings courts should not engage in a comparison of countries or cultures that can lead to separating U.S. born children from their immigrant parents who have not abused or neglected the children.

[pdf] Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Child Welfare Workers (+)

Information for child welfare workers in regards to the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

[pdf] Common Immigration Issues that Arise in Custody Cases Involving Immigrant Crime Victims and Their Children (+)

This helpful reference covers topics, such as the role of immigration status in custody cases, immigration relief for immigrant crime victims, and common immigration status misconceptions that arise in custody cases.

[pdf] Justice for All: How Attorneys Can Successfully Win Custody Cases for Immigrant Survivors When There Is a Clash of Laws, Cultures, Custody, and Parental Rights (+)

This chapter is designed to help lawyers develop case plans that position immigrant clients to best take advantage of the immigration and family law protections available to help battered immigrants. This chapter also highlights key issues that arise for lawyers representing battered immigrants in custody cases. Tools and resources are provided to help screen clients for immigration relief eligibility and to locate immigration lawyers in your state who have expertise working with immigrant survivors.

[pdf] Detained or Deported: What About My Children? What to do if You Can’t Be With Them (+)

This guide describes the child welfare system in great detail. If you do not know what a word or term means, see the Glossary. You may need to read certain sections in this guide several times in order to understand and you may also need to ask someone else for help.

[pdf] Chapter 06.3: The Implications of the Hague International Child Abduction Convention: Cases and Practice (+)

This chapter will provide an overview of the Hague Convention and its applications, as well as some practical recommendations to attorneys and advocates working with victims of domestic violence who are considering leaving the country with their children or who are fearful that their abuser may leave the country with their children.

[pdf] Chapter 06.1: Countering Abuser’s Attempts to Raise Victim’s Immigration Status in Custody Cases (+)

This chapter is designed to help family lawyers prepare to counter attempts by abusers to raise immigration status in custody cases. Attorneys should be encouraged to use the information in this chapter to educate judges hearing custody cases about the fact that they should not consider immigration status in making custody decisions in the best interests of children. The contents of this chapter are written in a format that could be incorporated into a bench brief to a trial court in a custody matter or that would be included in materials for educating judges.

[pdf] Custody of Children in Mixed-Status Families: Preventing the Misunderstanding and Misuse of Immigration Status in State-Court Custody Proceedings (+)

This article is designed to provide accurate information about current immigration laws and policies to family court judges and attorneys representing immigrant parents, to counter efforts by litigants in family court to raise immigration status of an opposing parent to gain advantage in a custody proceeding. A key goal of this article is to give courts and parties the information needed to keep the focus of the court’s decision making in custody cases on statutorily required factors—best interests of the child and primary caretaker determinations.

[pdf] Family Law Toolkit: Detention and Termination of Parental Rights (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics, such as: attorney guide for victim parents at risk of detention, fact sheet on State v. Maria L., Nebraska Supreme Court ruling, explanation and power of attorney designation instructions, appointment of temporary guardian of child (one parent and two parents), motion to dismiss for inadequate service of process, motion to appear telephonically, motion and memo opposing TPR, TPR trial brief template, protecting assets and child custody in the face of deportation, and how children move through the child welfare system.

[pdf] Family and Criminal Court Scenarios in Which Courts Will Encounter Immigrants Who Are Eligible for Immigration Protections (+)

Information and examples explaining how and in what proceedings courts may encounter immigrants who are eligible for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA and U Visa), Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), Special Immigrant Juvenile (SJIS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) immigration protections.

[pdf] LSC Memorandum Regarding Hague Convention Cases (+)

Memorandum from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to all its grantees confirming that LSC grantees have the statutory and regulatory authority to represent eligible foreign nationals in Hague Convention cases (compelling the return of a child from one member nation to another) brought in United States courts. This authority extends to foreign nationals residing abroad.

[pdf] Somewhere to Turn (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics such as: domestic violence and battered immigrant issues, cultural competency training, cross-cultural interviewing, recruiting and hiring multilingual and multicultural staff, shelter protocols, outreach and community collaboration, shelter access for battered immigrant women, VAWA immigration cases and victim advocacy confidentiality, creative use of protection orders, protections orders enforcement and criminal prosecution, access to public benefits, verification and reporting requirements under the U.S. Attorney General’s guidance and order, and model programs.

[pdf] Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jasper County (+)

E.M.B.R. (Mother) appeals a judgment terminating her parental rights to her son, C.M.B.R. (Child), and granting M.M. and S.M.’s petition to adopt Child because the trial court found she willfully abandoned him. Court determines whether her consent was required under section 453.040(7), and the adoption of Child by S.M. and M.M.

[pdf] Services and Assistance Legally Available to Help Immigrant Victims of Violence Against Women (+)

Training powerpoint on public benefits from the December 1, 2010 Sioux Falls, South Dakata

[pdf] Escorting Detained Parents and Other Immigrants to Court (2010) (+)

This letter used together with the ICE Performance Based National Detention Standard on Escorted Trips for Non-Medical Emergencies (also included in this library) describes the system for securing attendance at court hearings for immigrants in ICE immigration detention. For parents in immigration detention this letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy has been replaced by the 2013 Parental Interest Directive (also included in this library). This letter and the Non-Medical Emergency escort policy will have continued availability for use by courts and attorneys seeking to have detained immigrants appear in court for proceeding that do not involve children.

[pdf] Sample Trial Brief in Support of Defendant (+)

A sample trial brief written in the context of a termination of parental rights proceeding. This brief can be easily adapted for use in child abuse and neglect proceedings or child custody cases when similar issues are raised. We encourage you to add the facts of your case and local state family law and to use this brief as a tool to inform judges about the law that should be applied in cases of undocumented, detained and even deported immigrant parents.

[pdf] Power of Attorney Designation Instructions for Guardianship of Child (+)

A guardianship election form is a notarized statement indicating who should have the authority to act as the temporary guardian of your child should a client be suddenly unavailable to care for their child. Circumstances include hospitalization or immigration detention.

[pdf] The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare (+)

While children of immigrants have a lot at stake in the discussions surrounding U.S. immigration policy, their interests remain largely ignored in the debate. For instance, little consideration is given to the impact of immigration enforcement on the 5.5 million children, the vast majority of whom are native-born U.S. citizens, living with at least one undocumented parent. Similarly overlooked are the significant challenges experienced by public child welfare agencies that encounter children separated from their parents due to immigration enforcement measures.
The U.S. child welfare system is based on the notion of ensuring the safety and best interest of the child; however, this principle is often compromised in the face of conflicting federal immigration policies and practices. This policy brief examines the intersection of immigration enforcement and child welfare and the difficulties facing immigrant families caught between the two systems. Recommendations are provided to prioritize keeping children with their families and out of the public child welfare system whenever possible and to ensure that separated families who do encounter the child welfare system receive appropriate care and due process.

[pdf] Immigration and Child and Family Policy (+)

A comprehensive manual on topics, such as: immigration has tripled the foreign-born population in 35 years, three-quarters of children of immigrants are Latino or Asian, three-quarters of children of immigrants are U.S. born citizens but many have undocumented parents, immigrants are concentrated but dispersing rapidly, children of immigrants are poorer despite parental work and two parents in the home, poverty and economic hardship are greater among children of immigrants, poverty, hardship, and health insurance coverage vary by state, and contributors to school readiness among children of immigrants.

[pdf] Border Crossings: Understanding the Civil, Criminal, and Immigration Implications for Battered Immigrants Fleeing Across State Lines With Their Children (+)

This article provides an overview of the impact of state criminal parental kidnapping or custodial interference statutes on immigrant survivors of domestic violence who already have left or wish to leave their state with their children. Specifically, it discusses the jurisdictional laws that relate to interstate custodial interference; the varying applicability of custodial interference statutes for parents who do and do not have court-ordered custody of their children; statutory exception or defenses available to survivors of domestic violence facing prosecution on charges of criminal parental kidnapping; and immigration consequences related to a conviction under such statutes. The article also discusses the implications of interstate parental relocation on civil family court custody determinations and ethical issues that may arise for lawyers representing survivors who flee from violence with their children.

[pdf] Synergy Newsletter of the Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody (+)

This newsletter addresses the challenges faced by immigrant women dealing with domestic violence, but also provides insight into the Violence Against Women act and its tools that help battered immigrant women take charge of their own lives and immigration cases. It, also, discusses a labor law enacted in Illinois in 2003 that is designed to protect victims of domestic violence, two case holdings concerning the purpose of guardian ad litem reports in custody disputes and expanding the category of acts that constitute domestic violence.

[pdf] Common Misconceptions in Addressing Domestic Violence in Child Custody Disputes (+)

This article addresses the misconceptions about the extent and impact of domestic violence in child custody hearings. Several misconceptions are identified and juxtaposed with the reality of emerging knowledge in this field, and implications are outlined. These issues are illustrated by the perspectives of 62 women victims and 95 children exposed to domestic violence who had to navigate the justice system after separation from an abuser. Recommendations are offered for enhancing professional education, resource development, and collaboration among courts and community service providers.

[pdf] The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children (+)

This report was commissioned by American Bar Association (ABA) President, R. William Ide, III, in March 1994. This report is a review of the legal literature and reform proposals that had been developed in the area of domestic violence and contains recommendations for legislation and other policy action, as well as proposals for what the organized bar and individual attorneys should do to better address domestic violence and its adverse impact on children.