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)
For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-866-9287.
*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy