Understanding the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Process

Understanding the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Process


The current Trumpian political tone toward immigrants is less than welcoming, to say the least. Instead of accepting people and helping them, certain elected officials are more interested in building walls and ripping families apart through measures such as deportation.

Instead of standing by and seeing children turned away, there are some groups and law firms ready to help.

One such law firm is the Law Office of Merrill Clark, P.C. We are dedicated to keeping families together and legalizing children through the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) law.

What is SIJ?

The SIJ law passed in 1990 exists to help foreign minors in the United States who were in troubling situations of parental abuse, neglect or abandonment. The goal of SIJ is to help such children be legalized in the U.S.

What are some SIJ situations?

Here are a few examples of some situations where SIJ is applicable:

  • An immigrant minor — under the age of 21 in New York – illegally enters the U.S. through Mexico or overstays a tourist visa or a visa waiver. This child was either abused or neglected or abandoned (abandonment is six months without communication and support) by one of the parents and wants to stay in the U.S.
  • An immigrant minor is arrested at the border for entering the U.S. illegally. The minor is released but will still have an immigration court case or interview to deport the minor.
  • An immigrant minor is arrested and is being detained outside of New York by immigration.
  • An immigrant minor is arrested and released and now has a removal (deportation) order against the minor.
  • An immigrant minor is arrested in the U.S. and made up an asylum story that is false.
  • An immigrant minor did not truthfully answer the tourist visa written and oral questions and is now in the U.S.
  • An immigrant minor worked illegally in the U.S.

How do we help?

If you find yourself in any of these above situations, we can help. Merrill J. Clark, Esq. is an experienced New York attorney since 1989 and regularly obtains guardianship and custody orders with minors and helps legalize undocumented youth.

So, how exactly will we go about helping you?

  1. Meet with you and your proposed guardian/custodian to examine your situation and see if you qualify. (A parent may now be a guardian in New York.)
  2. Prepare and file the petition for guardianship or custody in the New York Family Court.
  3. Present testimony and evidence at the Family Court hearing to obtain the necessary orders.
  4. Apply to immigration to become a permanent resident and attend the immigration interview with you.
  5. Celebrate your legal new beginning in the United States!

If you wish to stop your Trump “agita” and sleep peacefully at night and learn more about the SIJ process or schedule an appointment with Law Office of Merrill Clark, P.C., please call (646) 706-7031 or fill out a contact form on our website. The telephonic consultation is free. You can also stay up to date with news about our latest cases and immigration law on our Facebook page, here.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *