As the political debate rages on in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country about immigration, we cannot forget that among the most vulnerable people in our country are immigrant children and minors.

Unmarried immigrants under 21 years old who have been abandoned, neglected or abused by parents or guardians can seek legal protection by qualifying for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS). This status provides lawful permanent residence in our country.

However, those who seek SIJS must go to Maryland family law court to provide convincing evidence that they shouldn’t be reunited with their family or be required to return to the country in which they were born. If the court agrees, the petitioners need to then petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a juvenile visa. Once that visa is approved, they can seek a green card.

This process is complicated and daunting. However, immigration attorneys experienced with SIJS petitions and family court cases can work to gather the necessary evidence, including records of court cases regarding abuse or neglect of a child, testimony from psychological and medical professionals regarding physical and/or mental harm to make an overwhelming case to present to the court.

Immigration law, particularly when it involves minors, is ever-changing. That’s why it’s essential to have an attorney by your side who understands both state and federal laws regarding juvenile immigration. We’re proud to provide experienced, compassionate representation to those who seek SIJS. To find out more about our firm and our work on behalf of those seeking to live in the U.S., please review our website.