Florida Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Immigrant Children Seeking Dependency Status

Apr 21, 2017 | Special Immigrant Juvenile

Basics on Waivers of Inadmissibility: Essential Guide for Law Firms

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Eligibility Criteria for Adjustment of Status

As a Miami immigration lawyer, I was relieved when I read that the Florida Supreme Court  ruled this week that juvenile courts cannot reject immigrant children’s petitions for dependency without giving them a chance to present evidence. Below are some frequently asked questions.

Why is this ruling important?
Florida judges, particularly in Miami-Dade County, have seen a flood of dependency petitions from children seeking permanent U.S. residency by filing for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). In recent years, dozens, if not hundreds of those petitions have been denied without an evidentiary hearing. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.

What does this mean for immigrant children?
For immigrant children who are presenting petitions for dependency, this means that they have a very strong statutory basis for these cases to go forward and not to be dismissed before facts can be presented. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

How did the Florida Supreme Court rule in favor of the immigrant child?
The Florida Supreme Court found that whether the petition seeks an adjudication to assist the child in applying for an immigration status under federal law is not a basis for summarily dismissing or denying the petition. The determination of whether an immigrant juvenile may obtain SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status) is reserved for the federal immigration authorities. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

What is the definition of abandonment, and why is it important in the context of Special Immigrant Juvenile cases?
The definition of abandonment has popped up time and time again in these cases. Immigration advocates tend to take the view that  abandonment is an ongoing situation rather than a specific point in time. As such, if an immigrant child is abandoned one year ago or 10 years ago, there’s still the pain and the need to take care of a child in that situation. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

If you would like more information on Special Immigration Juvenile petitions, deportation defense, obtaining  U.S. citizenship, or obtaining a green card, please contact Miami immigration lawyer The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A., Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at tmsilvalaw.com.