Young immigrants who face hardships, neglect and abuse at home had previously been able to apply for legal asylum here in the United States. According to a recent report, the current administration has now seemingly limited the age limit from 21 years old to 17 years old. First launched in 1990, this program enabled thousands (an estimated 50,000 since 2010) of young immigrants to seek a court-appointed guardian and a green card.
Singling out the most vulnerable
Critics of the current administration accuse it of literally punishing those who are most vulnerable. While some of the policy advocated by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was blocked in the courts, the federal government has nevertheless been slow to release immigrant children to family already in the U.S. Moreover, the rate of rejected applications now stands at 20 percent over the last two fiscal years, going up three-fold between 2014-2017.
Federal jurisdiction versus state jurisdiction here in California
There is some good news. A federal judge has blocked the federal government from rejecting applications based on age here in California. This is because the state enacted a law several years back that allowed probate courts to handle these cases and issue orders for immigrants between 18 and 21 years old. However, there is no telling how long this arrangement will last.
Attorneys with immigration law experience can provide guidance
Those lawyers who work in such areas as immigration and asylum and be a tremendous asset to clients and their families. As these issues are continually changing, it is a wise decision to contact an attorney to get the most up-to-date information as it directly relates to the circumstances of the client.