12-YEAR-OLD ABANDONED BY FATHER AT BIRTH SEEKS AN ATTORNEY TO HELP HIM STAY WITH HIS MOTHER BY FIGHTING FOR LEGAL STATUS (Yamir)

Yamir is a 12-year-old boy from Honduras. Yamir grew up as the oldest of five brothers living with his mother but never had the chance to meet his father. Yamir’s father denied that Yamir was his son and abandoned him at birth. As a result, his mother has been the sole caretaker and provider for her children since she was 20 years old. Due to his father’s abandonment, Yamir is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Yamir is seeking a pro bono attorney to represent him in his immigration proceedings and all aspects of his SIJS application.

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.

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Yamir* is a 12-year-old boy from Honduras who was abandoned by his father at birth. Yamir’s father does not appear on his birth certificate and has never financially supported Yamir. Yamir’s mother had four more children after Yamir. She moved to the United States in 2019 in order to financially support her children. She is currently in removal proceedings herself.

In 2021 Yamir’s mother organized for him to join her in the U.S. During the prior two-year period in which Yamir’s mother was in the U.S, Yamir lived with his aunt. Although two of his younger siblings still live with his aunt, Yamir's mother says that the aunt can no longer care for Yamir. If Yamir is sent back to Honduras he would not have a place to live and would have nobody to support him. A pro bono attorney could help Yamir avoid deportation and continue his life in the U.S. with his mother.

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 Yamir will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice.

  • Timeline: Yamir does not have any hearings scheduled currently. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally to occur within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 4 to 8 months).   
  • Location: Montgomery County, MD (not detained)   
  • Language: Spanish - will require a fluent Spanish-speaking pro bono team member or an outside interpreter

 

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