May 23, 2017
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for Children in Immigration Court

According to the U.S. Congressional Research Service, in 2014 “the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC, unaccompanied children) that were apprehended at the Southwest border while attempting to enter the United States without authorization reached a peak.” Many of these children have been and continue to be detained by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), released after a complicated custodial process, and placed in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge, where they must fight their case against deportation. One of the most common ways to fight against deportation is to seek Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a form of relief for children who are the victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, among other organizations, helps unaccompanied children fight their deportations by providing the legal representation needed to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The process is very complicated and involves both state and federal laws. MMLA lawyers wanted a visual resource they could use to guide and educate their juvenile clients. CURA and MMLA worked together to create this boardgame-like diagram to explain to this group of clients their path out of deportation proceedings and to legal immigration status.

You can download a PDF of the SIJS diagram in English and Spanish here