SIJS: Salvadoran Boy Neglected By His Father Wants to Stay in the U.S. with His Mother
Lonny* is a 10-year-old boy from El Salvador who is living with his mother in Maryland. Lonny’s father migrated to the U.S. when Lonny was a baby and did not keep in touch or provide for Lonny in El Salvador. Lonny’s father has neglected him, and he did not even call or visit while Lonny was held in government custody nearby awaiting reunification with his mother. Lonny is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) based on his father’s neglect, and this status would allow Lonny to remain in the U.S. with his mother.
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In contrast, Lonny’s father is not involved in Lonny's life. Moreover, even though he lives nearby in Maryland, he did not call or visit while Lonny was in government custody waiting to reunify with his mother. Lonny and his mother have had no recent contact with Lonny’s father.
Lonny is eligible for SIJS due to neglect 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.