Unaccompanied children are very special cases in our office. With the recent arrival of unaccompanied minors at the border, we have been able to help dozens of children in applying for relief and prevention of their immediate removal from the United States.
This blog will explain the pitfalls which need to be avoided by families and the three forms of relief that are available to unaccompanied minors who qualify.
First, it is critical not to miss a court date. Regardless, if a social worker or your attorney has advised your child does not need to attend. Even if you have moved out of the state where your Immigration court case will be heard, you must still attend unless you have verified proof from a judge which says you may not attend. It is important not to depend on a social worker or even an attorney’s direction not to attend without a copy of an Immigration Judges Order.
If a court date is missed, contact an experienced Immigration attorney right away to file a Motion to Reopen your case or your child will have a final removal order entered against them which has devastating affects. Filing a Motion to Reopen is time sensitive and may be expensive. Therefore, it is important to avoid a final removal order if possible.
Also, if you are unhappy with your current child’s legal representation, you should not hesitate to find another attorney for a second opinion. Despite, being a parent who does not have status in the United States, you should not be shy to contact an attorney who is a Member of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (“AILA”) to determine if your child’s case is being handled properly. Especially, when you are told that your child has no legal relief, you should not accept this legal opinion without a different attorney having a chance to review what can be done for your child in the United States.
There are three basic types of relief for unaccompanied minors who cross the border with either one parent or no parents:
- Special Immigration Juvenile Visa. This is a type of visa for children under the age of 18 which qualifies them to adjust status to a U.S. Permanent Resident if they meet the legal standard.
- Asylum/Withholding/Cat: These are different types of legal relief for those who fear returning home. An attorney reviews the reason for fear to determine if it meets the standards to apply for this type of relief.
- Prosecutorial Discretion: This is a temporary relief that allows a child to remain in the U.S. if he or she does not qualify for either a Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa or Asylum/Withholding/CAT.
You may contact our office to set up an appointment for a free 20 minute telephone consult to determine what options your child may have. We have different offices locations based in the Washington D.C. area and surrounding states which are available at www.scottcclaw.com.
All of our attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (“AILA”).
Vassell & LeeRC Law Group