Florida Judges Are Turning Their Backs on Abused Young Immigrants

It's nearly impossible for undocumented minors in Florida who have been “abused, abandoned, or neglected” to apply for the green cards that they are legally entitled to.

News Story (Florida)

Ashley Cleek
Nation, The
January 22, 2018

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Courts, Crime Victims, Foster Youth

Organizations mentioned/involved: Catholic Legal Services (Miami)


Since the fall of 2013, around 175,000 immigrant minors, mostly from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, have arrived at the US-Mexico border asking for protection and resettlement. When unaccompanied minors are detained, ICE transfers them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which sends the children to stay with any family or friends they might have in the United States while they wait for an immigration-court hearing.

Many of these children have suffered abuse or neglect or have been wholly or partially abandoned by their parents and therefore qualify for SIJS. This status allows children to apply for a green card and eventually citizenship, with the caveat that they can never apply for immigration relief for their parents.