Thursday, March 6, 2014

Juvenile Convicted of Crime Remains Eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Congratulations to the UC Irvine Immigration Law Clinic!

From the SF Chronicle:

A state appeals court has strengthened California's application of a little-known federal immigration law that allows minors to seek legal residence if they were brought into the United States illegally but were abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents.

Overruling an Orange County judge who ordered a teenage girl sent back to Mexico because she committed an assault, the Fourth District Court of Appeal said youngsters who break the law remain eligible to apply for legalization if deportation would only subject them to more parental abuse.
Superior Court Judge Gregory Young ruled that Leslie was ineligible for the federal legalization program because she had broken the law, was on a path to "self-destruction" and would be better off if returned to Mexico. But the appeals court said Young had gone beyond his proper role, which was largely to decide whether the girl was in the category of minors covered by the law.

"On this record, (Young) could not reasonably conclude it was in Leslie's best interests to be sent back to Mexico alone and with no one to care for her," said Justice Richard Aronson in the court's ruling.

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services will decide whether Leslie can remain in the United States. "I think she's got a strong case," said Annie Lai, co-director of UC Irvine's Immigrant Rights Clinic, which represented Leslie. Read more...


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