Abused, Abandoned, or Neglected: Legal Options for Recent Immigrant Women and Girls (August 2016) [pdf]

This article discusses legal options for immigrant girls and immigrant women who are recent immigrants to the United States. It provides an overview of legal immigration relief options including the VAWA self-petition, U Visa, T Visa, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The article provides a detailed legislative history of SIJS, discusses the importance of trauma informed screening of immigrant children for immigration relief eligibility, and provides an overview of help that Legal Services Corporation funded programs can provide to immigrant children who have suffered battering, extreme cruelty, sexual assault or human trafficking. Importantly the article provides a detailed discussion of the special role state family and juvenile courts play and legal issues that arise in state court proceedings that are a prerequisite to a child’s ability to file a case seeking SIJS immigration relief.