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IMMIGRATION RIGHTS PROJECT FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
(Made possible by the generous support of the New York Bar Foundation, the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation, the Sirus Fund, our individual donors and previous funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Equal Justice Works.)

Young people in foster care face untold obstacles in their journey toward security and independence. For many hundreds of children in care these obstacles are exacerbated dramatically by the fact that they are undocumented aliens. The daunting reality is that a young person in foster care who is an undocumented alien faces potential deportation at any time. For these children, being deported to a country where they do not speak the language and are unfamiliar with the culture is a terrifying prospect. A green card is critical for these children.

To address this problem, the Foster Children’s Immigration Rights Project uses the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Statute, a special provision in the Immigration and Naturalization Act, that allows children who are in foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment to obtain green cards.

For each LFC client who can benefit from the assistance of the project, the project director first obtains a Family Court order finding that the subject-child meets the necessary criteria. Next, the Family Court order is used as the basis for the filing of a SIJS petition with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the INS).

The project also includes an outreach component, designed to provide young people in foster care with the information necessary to determine for themselves whether they might be eligible for the legalization of their immigration status, and how to begin the process. Lawyers For Children recently published the newest addition to our handbook series for young people in foster care, You Are Not Alone - Immigration Rights.

Enabling our clients to stay in the U.S. legally, in turn enables them to continue their education, become eligible for working papers, and embark on a promising future in the City that is their home.

Immigration Handbook
You Are Not Alone
(click to look inside)
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