March 11, 2016
An increasing number of these unaccompanied minors are finding a potential solution through Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status – which would pave a path towards citizenship by enabling recipients to become lawful permanent residents, or “green card” holders. A number of these new SIJ petitions are supported by legal aid groups across the state.
Response to SIJ petitions in state court has varied. “There are some areas of the country where state court judges had actually never seen these types of petitions before the last couple of years. And there were other parts where judges were much more aware of it,” said Mindy Phillips, a fellow with the East Bay Community Law Center’s immigration clinic in Alameda County, which has had the second-largest number of children settled with sponsors in the state.
Organizations mentioned/involved: East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), Public Counsel