HELP YOUNG BOY ESCAPE ABUSIVE FATHER AND STAY SAFE WITH MOTHER IN MARYLAND (Jaden)

Jaden* is an 11-year-old boy from Honduras. Jaden’s father was physically and verbally abusive towards his mother in front of Jaden. His father would become especially violent under the influence of alcohol. Jaden would try to protect his mother from his father, and the father would try to hit Jaden in retaliation. Jaden’s mother fled to the United States to escape the abuse, and Jaden is now living with her in Maryland. Based on his father’s abuse, Jaden is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. Jaden seeks an attorney to represent him in all aspects of his SIJS proceedings. 

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Jaden* is an 11-year-old boy from Honduras. Jaden’s father was physically and verbally abusive towards his mother in front of Jaden. His father would become especially violent under the influence of alcohol. Jaden would cry and beg his father not to hurt his mother, so his father would tell Jaden to go play before he began hitting her. As he got older, Jaden would try to protect his mother from his father, and the father would try to hit Jaden in retaliation. Jaden’s mother would then try to protect Jaden from the abuse.  

In 2018, Jaden’s mother fled to the United States to escape the mental and physical abuse. Jaden lived with his father for a month, and his father began hitting Jaden with cords and hoses. Jaden’s father’s cousin is a gang member, and once when Jaden’s maternal grandmother went to check on him, she found gang members at the house. When Jaden’s mother heard of this, she arranged for Jaden to live with his maternal grandmother. In 2019, Jaden traveled to the United States to reunite with his mother. Jaden’s father has not been in contact with him or provided any financial support since 2019.  

Jaden is eligible for SIJS due to abuse by his 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 Jaden will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice.  

In order to assist Jaden, 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: Jaden does not have any hearings scheduled currently.  In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically. State court custody hearing for SIJS ideally occur within 4 to 6 months, followed by USCIS filing (approvals can take 10 to 12 months).  

            Location: Montgomery 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