Salvadoran Brothers Want To Stay with Their Mother in Maryland
Juan* and Mauricio* are 14 and 9-year-old brothers from El Salvador. Their father and mother separated because their mother was suffering chronic abuse at the hands of their father. Initially, their father still visited the boys, but he never provided support for them and eventually stopped seeing them all together. The brothers currently live with their mother in Maryland. Based on their father’s abandonment and neglect, Juan and Mauricio are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a statutory form of relief that combines both state court and federal immigration components. They seek an attorney to represent them in all aspects of their SIJS proceedings.
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Juan* and Mauricio* are 14 and 9-year-old brothers from El Salvador. When Juan was approximately 8 years old, their father and mother separated because their mother was suffering chronic abuse at the hands of their father. For a few months, their father still visited the boys, but he never provided support for them and then stopped seeing them altogether. Around the same time, their mom moved to the Unites States and the boys lived with their grandmother. Now the boys have reunified with their mom in Maryland and want to stay with her.
Family reunification was not the only reason the boys left El Salvador. Juan had received threats from members of the 18th Street gang in his hometown because they believed that he had joined their rival gang, MS 13, even though he had not been involved in any gang activity. This scared Juan because his neighbor, who is a gang member, was kidnapped by a rival gang and was never heard from again, Juan is afraid that this could happen to him too since they believe him to be a gang member.
Juan and Mauricio are eligible for SIJS due to abandonment and 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 these boys will need to be barred in Maryland or obtain court permission to appear pro hac vice.
In order to assist Juan and Mauricio, 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 a SIJS application package with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; appear with the children at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interview, if required; and handle the adjustment of status paperwork. There may also be one or more brief scheduling hearings (“master calendar hearings”) with an Immigration Judge.
Currently, there are no hearings scheduled in Juan or Mauricio’s removal proceedings (as of February 10, 2020).
Juan and Mauricio live in Prince George’s County, Maryland and speak Spanish.
For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at email@example.com or 202-866-9287.
*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy