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New York Appellate Court Issues Amazing Special Immigrant Juvenile Decision.

On February 5, 2014, the Appellate Division of the Second Judicial Department in New York issued a splendid decision that will have a huge impact on the future of undocumented children in New York.

In many situations, in order for an undocumented child to obtain residency through Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (“SIJS”), the child must first have someone appointed as their guardian.

Unfortunately, many judges in family court are  skeptical of SIJS and as a result deny guardianship petitions if the natural parent is the petitioner.

In Brooklyn, Queens, Suffolk, and Nassau Counties, family court judges will no longer be able to deny guardianship petitions just because the natural parent is the petitioner. A big HATS OFF to the great  Professor Theo Liebmann  and his students at Hofstra University School of Law’s Youth Advocacy Clinic!

Here is the holding and link to the full decision:

On this appeal, we conclude that the subject children, facing the possibility of being separated from their only parent and returned to their native country where gang members have threatened their lives, may seek to have their natural mother appointed as their guardian as a first step toward obtaining legal residency in the United States.



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