Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins denied the Trump Administration’s move to dismiss the class action brought by young immigrants abused, abandoned or neglected by their parents. While here in California young immigrants up to age 20 are allowed to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had begun to deny this special status to immigrants as young as 18.

Under SIJS, immigrant children who were abused by parents can apply for lawful permanent residency. The federal law stipulates that the child first receives approval from the state courts before they can seek federal approval.

The suit

The suit was begun by four young and filed in the Northern District of California last year. Judge Cousins also ruled in 2018 to grant a preliminary injunction to enacting this same policy and preventing applicants from being deported. The immigration agency subsequently claimed that this motion to dismiss was based on the fact that they simply clarified a law instead of changing policy. According to a news story, judge disagreed in 16-page ruling that its “new interpretation of the [immigration status] statute constitutes final agency action that is appropriate for judicial review” under the Administrative Procedure Act.

The judge essentially stopped the Trump Administration’s attempt sneak a policy change through by claiming it is a clarification, guidance or centralization because there was previously a lack of formal process.

Are you seeking SIJS?

Those seeking SIJS would be advised to work with an experienced immigration law attorney. They can guide young clients through the process and help them with the paperwork and other important details at both the state and the federal level.