October 15, 2020
The cases of children alone who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected are being unnecessarily stalled or delayed by the U.S. government. These children are left at risk of deportation, detention, and other harm. This is happening because the U.S. government is targeting an immigration protection called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
Susana*, 18, has suffered abuse and mistreatment for most of her life. She escaped El Salvador to go to the United States in search of safety but has struggled to find stability since her arrival. Susana was granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) by USCIS and has been waiting in a lengthy backlog to receive her green card. Susana has had to fend for herself for most of the time she has been in the United States, trying her best to make ends meet with very little support. A motion to waive the filing fees on her adjustment of status application was filed the Immigration Court on March 18, 2020, the first step in the process for her to file her green card application. With a pending green card application, Susana would be eligible for a work permit which would give her access to a social security number and some stability in her tumultuous personal situation. To date, the court has not yet ruled on the motion despite multiple follow-up requests to the court, thus delaying Susana’s path to stability and self-sufficiency.
Download the below infographic to learn more about this process and why this breakdown is happening within the U.S. immigration system:
*name of child changed to protect her identity