SIJS: 9- and 11-Year Old Brothers, Abandoned by Father, Want to Remain with their Mother in Maryland

Giovanni* and Enrique* are 9- and 11-year-old brothers from El Salvador eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. When Enrique was less than two years old, Enrique's father left his mother and abandoned Enrique. At the time, Enrique's mother was pregnant with Enrique's brother, Giovanni. The boys now live in New Carrollton, Maryland with their mother and want to remain with her.  

 

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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Giovanni* and Enrique* are 9- and 11-year-old brothers from El Salvador eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. When Enrique was less than two years old, Enrique's father left his mother and abandoned Enrique. At the time, Enrique's mother was pregnant with another of their sons, Giovanni.  

 

Their father moved in with another woman in El Salvador.  He does not send any money to Enrique or Giovanni or to their mother, and has only once called the boys in the 9 years since leaving.

 

After living with extended family in El Salvador, the boys came to the United States in March to be reunited with their mother in New Carrollton, Maryland. Their mother now has a third child and takes good care of all three children. The boys want to remain here with their mother.  

 

Giovanni and Enrique are eligible for SIJS due to abandonment by their father. SIJS is available to unaccompanied immigrant children 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.

 

In order to assist Giovanni and Enrique, 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 may also be a brief scheduling hearing with an Immigration Judge.

 

The boys speak 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.