HONDURAN CHILD WHOSE FATHER ABANDONED HER AND UNCLE ABUSED HER WANTS TO STAY SAFE WITH MOTHER IN MARYLAND

Sara* is a 17-year-old Spanish speaking girl from Honduras. Sara’s father abandoned her mother when he found out that she was pregnant and never financially provided for Sara nor was he ever a parental figure for her. After her mother left for the United States, Sara and her sisters were taken care of by an emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive uncle who robbed and beat them. Sara now safely lives in Maryland with her mother. Due to her father's abandonment, Sara is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Sara seeks an attorney to represent her in all aspects of her SIJS proceedings. Sara may also be eligible for asylum based on her uncle’s abuse, and a pro bono attorney will want to further explore her eligibility for that form of relief.

 

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney. Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings. 

 

*****

Sara is a 17-year-old Spanish speaking girl from Honduras. When Sara’s mother found out that she was pregnant with Sara, the father left and never provided for or contacted the family. Sara’s mother was forced to raise Sara and her three younger half-sisters with their grandmother since the father abandoned them. Sara’s mother eventually immigrated to the United States, from which she sent money to her daughters.

 

Within the first year under her grandmother's care, Sara’s uncle would frequent the house. He would visit the sisters and began to sexually abuse Sara and one of her younger sisters; at this time, Sara was 9 years old and her sister was 6 years old. Sara is hesitant to discuss this abuse and has not revealed it to her mother, so a pro bono attorney will need to handle this subject with sensitivity.

 

When Sara was 14 years old, her uncle moved into her grandmother's house to live with Sara and her sisters. For nearly two years, he treated Sara and her sisters as his servants; he would demand that they cook and clean for him and even buy him things with the money that they received from their mother. The uncle became violent and would beat the sisters if they did not listen to him. Every week, he would hit and beat Sara with a belt until she was heavily bruised. 

 

Eventually, the uncle moved out of the house after Sara’s mom threatened to call the police on him. However, even after leaving the house, Sara’s uncle was extremely manipulative. He would harass the grandmother to give him money and he would rob the girls; he was a known thief with ties to the gang in their neighborhood.. 

 

The town that Sara and her sisters were being raised in was violent and unsafe for young girls so in 2019, Sara fled Honduras for a better life in the United States with her mother. She wanted to study and live with her mother in Maryland where she would be safe from gang violence and her abusive uncle. 

 

Due to her father’s abandonment, Sara is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Sara will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

 

In order to assist Sara, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the child meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit a SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the child at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interview, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

  

As noted above, Sara may also qualify for asylum based on her uncle’s abuse. A pro bono attorney will want to further explore these facts and further assess her eligibility for asylum as a form of immigration relief.

 

Timeline: No scheduled Immigration Court hearings. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically.  

            Location: Prince Georges County, MD (not detained)

            Language: Spanish

 

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at  jennifer@caircoalition.org  or 202-866-9287

  

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy 

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

Help a Salvadoran Child Who Suffered From Physical Abuse and Neglect and Escaped Gang Threats

William* is a 16-year-old boy from El Salvador. William's father physically abused him when he was younger and continues to neglect him. In addition, a gang threatened his life and those of his family members; they killed his uncle and forced William and his grandmother to perform low-level tasks under duress. William left El Salvador to escape the gang, and he wants to remain in Maryland with his mother. Based on his father's abandonment and abuse, William is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. William seeks an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings. William may also qualify for asylum based on the gang's persecution of him and his family. A pro bono attorney will want to further explore these facts and further assess William's eligibility for asylum.

 

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney. Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings. 

 

****** 

 

William is a 16-year-old boy from El Salvador who currently lives with his mother in the United States. William lived in El Salvador with both of his parents until he was 6. Throughout his childhood, William suffered from an abusive and difficult relationship with his father. His father was rarely present, spending most of William’s upbringing at work or with other women, leaving William’s mother to take care of him and his siblings. However, when William’s father was with the family, he would abuse William. His father would ridicule him and hit him with a belt while William lay on the floor, leaving him very bruised. Whenever William did not listen to his father's wishes, his father would lash out and beat his son. William was only 4 or 5 years old at the time.

 

When William was 6 years old, his father left his family and went to the United States. William’s mother followed a year later, leaving William and his siblings in the care of their maternal grandmother. In the U.S., William’s parents faced marital difficulties as William’s father frequently mistreated his wife. The father was often drunk or on drugs and would abuse William’s mother to the point of threatening her life. After a year together in the U.S., they separated. 

 

From the U.S., William’s father sent money every other month to William’s grandmother for taking care of the children he had left in her care. After two years in the U.S., William’s father returned to El Salvador to live with another woman. Even though he lived just 45 minutes away from William, he rarely saw his children and stopped sending them money. Despite everything, however, William has maintained a relationship with his father and speaks with him frequently.  

 

While William was still in El Salvador and his parents were in the U.S., he and his siblings lived with their grandmother in gang territory. They were constantly at threat of violence and harassment. The gang murdered one of William's uncles when he stopped paying extortion money, and gang members have threatened the life of William's grandmother and her whole family. The gang attempted to convince Walter to leave his schooling to join the gang. They would follow him to school, ridicule him for being studious and religious, and threaten to kill him if he did not join. The gang went as far as forcing William’s grandmother to be a lookout and to alert them if the police came to the neighborhood. Eventually, William also did small tasks for them to keep himself and his siblings from harm; they would force him to inform the gang if police were in the neighborhood and to use his own money to buy them phone data. 

 

To escape the gang, William secretly left El Salvador, notifying only his grandmother of his departure so that the gang did not find out. William is confident that if he returns to that neighborhood, the violence, threats, and harassment would start again and that he, his siblings, and his grandmother would never be safe. William believes that the gang would find him. His grandmother still lives in the same neighborhood in El Salvador and still receives threats.

 

Based on his father's abuse and neglect, William is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. William is looking for an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings. SIJS is available to immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents William will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

 

In order to assist William, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that he meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit a SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with him at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

As noted above, William may also qualify for asylum based on his history with the gang. A pro bono attorney will want to further develop those facts and further assess the viability of filling an application for asylum in William's case.

 

Timeline: No Immigration court hearings scheduled yet; State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically.

Location: Windsor Hill, Maryland (not detained)                                                                                       

Language: Spanish

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at  jennifer@caircoalition.org  or 202-866-9287.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy

 

 

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

HELP YOUNG SALVADORAN BOY STAY SAFE IN MARYLAND

Bowen* is a 12-year-old boy from El Salvador. Bowen’s father abandoned him when he was a baby and his mother left him for the United States when he was young. Bowen grew up with a relative and was under constant threat of gang violence. In 2019, Bowen was forced to stop attending school so that he could migrate to the United States where he would be safe. Since arriving in Maryland, Bowen has reunified and has lived with his mother. Based on his father’s abandonment, Bowen is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Bowen seeks an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings.

 

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

 

*****

 

Bowen is a 12-year-old boy from El Salvador. Bowen’s father abandoned him when he was a baby, so Bowen has no recollection of him. Bowen has never had a relationship with his father as he has never provided for his son; Bowen does not know why his parents are separated and it is clear that Bowen’s father has no interest in his son. Bowen was raised by his mother until she migrated to the United States in 2011. Following his mother's departure, Bowen was taken care of by his great Grandmother.

 

While Bowen was separated from his mother, she often contacted him and sent him money from Maryland. They managed to maintain a good relationship during her absence. With his great grandmother, Bowen was raised in a safe household and kept away from his father. However, in El Salvador, Bowen and his great grandmother lived in a neighborhood that was filled with theft, extortion, and violence. Thus, Bowen and his great grandmother were constantly threatened by gang crime.

 

Bowen’s great grandmother eventually became elderly and unable to care for Bowen. After Bowen finished 7th grade in 2019, Bowen traveled to the United States with the help of a guide that his mother paid for. Once Bowen reached the United States, he was reunified with his mother and his grandmother in Maryland. Bowen now lives with his mother outside of Baltimore.

 

Due to his father’s abandonment and neglect, Bowen is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Bowen will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

 

In order to assist Bowen, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the child meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit a SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the child at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interview, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

  

 

Timeline: No scheduled Immigration Court hearings. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically. 

 

 

           Location: Baltimore County, MD. 

           Language: Spanish

 

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at  jennifer@caircoalition.org  or 202-866-9287. 

  

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy 

 

 

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

Help Salvadoran Brothers Evade Their Father’s Gang and Stay with Their Mother

Cristian* and Roberto* are 16- and 12-year-old boys from El Salvador. Their father, a member of a violent gang, left the home before Roberto was born and was eventually jailed for homicide. Cristian and Roberto came to the United States to join their mother after their caretaker aunt could no longer afford to care for them and received threats from their father. Cristian and Roberto now live with their mother in Maryland. Based on their father's neglect, Cristian and Roberto are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Cristian and Roberto seek an attorney to represent them in all aspects of their SIJS proceedings. Alternatively, the boys fear returning to El Salvador because of their father’s gang and are eligible for asylum or withholding from removal.

 

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

 

*****

 

Cristian* and Roberto* are 16- and 12-year-old boys from El Salvador. Their father, a high-ranking member of a violent gang, left the home before Roberto was born, when Cristian was 3, and was eventually jailed for homicide. Neither Cristian nor Roberto have seen their father since and he never provided for them financially. The boys’ mother came to the United States in 2014 to provide for the boys and evade death threats by their father. She continued to speak with the boys daily and provided for them financially after departing.

 

After the boys’ mother moved to the United States, they stayed with various family members but eventually settled with their maternal aunt. The boys came to the United States in February 2020 because their maternal aunt could no longer afford to care for them and their father threatened to take them away when he gets out of jail. The boys are now reunited with their mother in Baltimore County, Maryland.

 

Cristian fears he would be brought into his father’s gang and taken away from his family if he were to return to El Salvador. Their father has threatened his mother’s life, abused her during their relationship, and has told Cristian that he will be out of jail soon. Roberto does not know the extent of his father’s threats or gang dealings, but his gang has watched and controlled the boys due to their father’s membership.

 

Cristian and Roberto are eligible for SIJS due to neglect by their father. SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Cristian and Roberto will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. Alternatively, Cristian and Roberto will need an attorney to represent them in an asylum claim or in withholding from removal based on their fear of returning to El Salvador.

 

In order to assist Cristian and Roberto, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the children meet the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit SIJS application packages with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the children at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge.

 

Currently, there are no hearings scheduled in Cristian and Roberto’s removal proceedings.

 

Cristian and Roberto speak Spanish and are living in Baltimore County, Maryland with their mother.

Timeline: As of October 21st, 2020, there are no currently scheduled hearings in this case; State court custody hearings for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months).

          Location: Baltimore County, Maryland (not detained)

          Language: Spanish

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.

 

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

HELP YOUNG HONDURAN SURVIVOR OF PHYSICAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT BY FATHER STAY SAFE IN THE US

Jordan* is a 14-year-old boy from Honduras. Jordan’s mother left him in Honduras in the custody of his father, a violent drug addict who neglected and abused Jordan from a young age. Jordan’s mother sent him money from the United States to provide for his education, but his father used the money to fund his drug addiction. Jordan was forced to take care of himself and did not receive any formal education. Jordan recently arrived in the United States and reunited with his mother in Baltimore. Because of the neglect and abuse by his drug addict father, Jordan is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Jordan seeks an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings. 

 

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

 

******

 

Jordan is a 14-year-old boy who seeks to stay safe in the United States with his mother. Jordan was born in Honduras to a working mother and a drug addict father and has one full sister that lived with them. When Jordan was four years old, his parents separated because his father repeatedly abused his family. His father would frequently steal and then force Jordan’s mother to sell the stolen goods in order to fund his drug addiction.

 

When Jordan’s mother migrated to the United States in 2014, she maintained contact with Jordan and his sister and sent them money to pay for their schooling. With the mother gone, the father permitted Jordan’s sister to move out and live with maternal family members, but Jordan was not not allowed to leave and was separated from his sister. Jordan’s mother suspected that Jordan was kept with his father so that he could use the education money to buy drugs. Consequently, Jordan did not go to school and now does not know how to read or write. 

 

With his father neglecting him throughout his childhood, Jordan was forced to take care of himself. Instead of going to school, he worked at a coffee plantation where he was the only child laborer as all of the other workers were adult men. As Jordan sought out food for himself, Jordan’s father consumed drugs in the familial home in front of the child. 

 

After having been abused and neglected for years, Jordan moved to the United States in 2019. In 2020, Jordan was reunified with his mother in Baltimore and she has since become his sponsor. Jordan was also reunited with his 18-year-old sister from Honduras; she migrated to the United States in 2018. After her father abandoned her and gave her to relatives to live with, she moved to the United States and has been living with her mother. Jordan’s sister also seeks an attorney to represent her in all aspects of her SIJS proceedings. Jordan and his sister now live with their mother and siblings. It is in their best interest to remain in Baltimore with their sponsor as the only parental figure they have in Honduras is a drug addict father who abused and neglected Jordan and his sister throughout their childhoods. 

 

Jordan and her sister are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Jordan and his sister seek an attorney to represent them in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings.

 

SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Jordan will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice.

 

In order to assist Jordan, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the child meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit a SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the child at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interview, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge.   

 

Timeline: No scheduled Immigration Court hearings. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically. 

 

Location: Baltimore County, MD (not detained) 

 

Language: Spanish

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287. 

  

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy 

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

El Salvadoran Child Abandoned by Father Wants to Stay with His Family in Virginia

Tommy* is an 11-year-old Spanish-speaking boy from El Salvador. Tommy’s father left his mother when he found out she was pregnant and after age two never spoke or provided financial support to Tommy again. After Tommy’s mother came to the United States, Tommy lived with his maternal grandmother until she became too sick to care for him. Tommy now lives with his mother and stepfather in Virginia. Based on his father’s abandonment, Tommy is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Tommy seeks an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings.

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

 

*****

 

Tommy is an 11-year-old Spanish-speaking boy from El Salvador. Tommy’s father left his mother when he found out she was pregnant. Tommy and his mother then moved to Honduras. Tommy’s father would visit once every month or two and occasionally send money and items. This gradually decreased until Tommy’s father completely stopped reaching out by the time Tommy was two. Around this time, Tommy and his mother returned to El Salvador to live with Tommy’s maternal grandmother and three maternal uncles. When Tommy was four, his mother came to the United States to provide money for Tommy and his grandmother.

 

After Tommy’s mother came to the United States, he continued to live with his grandmother. Tommy’s mother continued to provide for Tommy emotionally and financially from the United States. She also met and married a man who has become a loving and caring stepfather to Tommy.

 

In 2019, when Tommy’s grandmother became too old to care for him, he reunited with his mother in the United States. Tommy’s mother is undocumented and has a prior deportation order. However, she still wants to move forward with Tommy’s case and has confirmed interest in his representation.

 

Tommy is eligible for SIJS due to abandonment by his biological father. SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Tommy will need to be barred in Virginia or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

In order to assist Tommy, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the child meets the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit an SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the child at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interview, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

 

Currently, there are no hearings scheduled in Tommy’s removal proceedings. Tommy speaks Spanish and is living in Fairfax County, Virginia with his mother and stepfather.

 

Timeline: As of October 21, 2020, there are no currently scheduled hearings in this case; State court custody hearings for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months).

          Location: Fairfax County, Virginia (not detained)

          Language: Spanish

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.

 

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

SIJS(MD)/Children’s Asylum: Help Brothers from El Salvador escape gang violence and remain with their mother.

Dax* and Elan* are 14- and 6-year-old children from El Salvador who want to remain in the United States with their mother. The brothers have different fathers, but Dax has never known his father, and Elan’s father abandoned him when Elan was only a year old. Neither child’s father communicates with them, and neither support them financially or emotionally. The brothers currently live in Baltimore County, Maryland with their mother. Based on their fathers’ abandonment, they are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Dax and Elan need an attorney to represent each of them in all aspects of their SIJS proceedings. Additionally, the boys fear returning to El Salvador because a violent gang has threatened them and are eligible for asylum or withholding of removal.

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

******

Dax* and Elan* are 14- and 6-year-old children from El Salvador who want to remain in the United States with their mother. Dax’s mother conceived him when she was gang-raped. (Dax does not know this, and his mother does not want him to know.) Dax’s mother does not know the identity of her attackers, so she also does not know who Dax’s father is. She did, however, report the rape to the police.

 

Elan was abandoned by his father at the age of one. Elan’s father gave some financial support to Elan’s mother, but he did not financially or emotionally support Elan. Both Dax and Elan currently live in Baltimore County, Maryland with their mother.

 

 Before leaving El Salvador, the gang that raped Dax and Elan’s mother threatened her because she reported the rape to the police. When their mother left El Salvador, she left the children in the care of their abusive maternal grandmother (their mother was unaware of the abuse). Their aunt and uncle cared for them with church leaders, but they all fled in 2017 due to direct gang threats. The children would not have an adult to live with if they returned to El Salvador. Dax and Elan also are afraid to return to El Salvador because they have received death threats from the same gang that attacked and threatened their mother.

 

Based on their fathers’ abandonment, Dax and Elan are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Dax and Elan need an attorney to represent them in all aspects of their SIJS proceedings and, alternatively, an asylum claim or withholding of removal based on their fear of returning to El Salvador.

 

SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents these siblings will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

 

In order to assist Dax and Elan, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the children meet the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit SIJS application packages with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the children at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

 

** Note about Joint representation: Dax does not know that he was conceived when his mother was gang-raped, and his mother does not want him to know it. This issue will require a sensitive and careful approach by the pro bono team.

   

Timeline: No scheduled Immigration Court hearings. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically. 

 

Location: Baltimore County, MD. 

 

Language: Spanish

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

SIJS/Children’s Asylum: Guatemalan boy needs help escaping his abusive father.

Patricio* is a 14-year-old boy from Guatemala. Patricio is afraid to return to Guatemala because he believes he will be targeted by his abusive father, who is a gang member. Patricio’s father abused him and his mother until his parents separated when he was 3 years old. After the separation, Patricio’s father did not provide financially or keep in contact with Patricio. Since arriving in the US in 2020, Patricio has been living with his mother and aunt in Maryland. Due to the abuse and neglect of his father, Patricio is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Patricio is looking for an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings and, alternatively, help him pursue Asylum or Withholding of Removal due to his fear of returning to Guatemala.

All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney.  Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.  

******

Patricio* is a 14-year-old boy from Guatemala. Patricio is afraid to return to Guatemala because he believes he will be targeted by his abusive father, who is a gang member. Patricio’s father abused him and his mother until his parents separated when he was 3 years old. Patricio’s father went as far as to threaten to kill both Patricio and his mother.  After the separation, Patricio’s father did not provide financially or keep in contact with Patricio.

 

Patricio’s mother went to the US when he was 11 years old. She sent money every two months and called Patricio three times a week. During that time, Patricio living with his maternal grandparents. Patricio’ grandparents are no longer viable caretakers because they are elderly and suffer health issues, including severe complications due to diabetes.

 

Since arriving in the US in 2020, Patricio has been living with his mother and his US-citizen aunt in Maryland. Due to the abuse and neglect of his father, Patricio is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Patricio is looking for an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings and, alternatively, help him pursue Asylum or Withholding of Removal due to his fear of returning to Guatemala.

 

SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, who cannot be reunified with one or both parents, and for whom returning to their home country is not in their best interest. SIJS requires three approvals, one from a state family court and two from USCIS. Because a state family court order is required, the attorney who represents Patricio will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice. 

 

In order to assist Patricio, a pro bono team will appear in state family court to obtain an order that the children meet the requirements for SIJS; prepare and submit SIJS application packages with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the children at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There also may be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearing”) with an Immigration Judge. 

 

Timeline: No Immigration court hearings scheduled yet; State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months). In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically.

 

Location: Montgomery County, MD.

 

Language: Spanish.

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On

Pro Bono Alert: New Best Practices for Proposed SIJS Orders For State Court (Added 2017)

This Practice Advisory provides new best practices on how to best draft proposed predicate orders when proceeding in state court during a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”) case. In short, when drafting proposed SIJS orders, it is now recommended that draft orders cite, and speak to, the specific state laws.  

 

Attachment Size
SIJS Practice Pointer March 2017.pdf 147.87 KB
Categories
Secondary Resource Type
Sample?
Yes
Opportunity?
Off