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  • Article: Perez-Olano settlement for abused/abandoned/neglected immigrant children. By Peter Schey

    Perez-Olano settlement for abused/abandoned/neglected immigrant children

    by


    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Yesterday, after several months of negotiations, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and Public Counsel entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bringing the agency into compliance with the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement we had previously reached with the Government allowing immigrant children found to be abused, abandoned or neglected by state courts to legalize their status and avoid deportation even if their state court orders expired when they turned 18 years of age. To review or download the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement reached March 4, 2015, select this link. The Center agreed to withdraw its pending motion for class-wide enforcement of the Perez-Olano Settlement and DHS has agreed to comply with the following modified policies:

    -- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not deny, revoke, or terminate an immigrant child's application for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status or application for adjustment of status even if, at the time of filing the application (1) the minor is or was under 21 years of age, unmarried, and otherwise eligible for SIJ status, and (2) the minor is the subject of a valid state court dependency order or was the subject of a valid dependency order that was previously terminated based on age prior to the filing of the application for SIJ status or SIJ-based adjustment of status.

    -- Class members whose SIJ applications were previously wrongfully denied, revoked or terminated will not have to pay any additional fees for re-opening and re-adjudication of their previously denied applications.

    -- Upon reopening these cases, USCIS will approve those applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status that are approvable on the basis of the existing record: that is, without the class members' submitting further evidence or information. If the reopened applications are not approvable on the basis of the existing record, USCIS must notify applicants that their applications have been reopened and request such additional evidence or information as the agency deems necessary.

    -- USCIS will forward notice of the agreement to its list of community-based organizations and stakeholders. USCIS must distribute the agreement and a policy memorandum to DHS officers, agents and employees who adjudicate applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status, and instruct them to adjudicate pending and future applications for SIJ classification and SIJ-based adjustment of status in accordance with the Agreement.

    Class members previously denied SIJ status or adjustment of status because their state court dependency orders had expired, or their lawyers, have until June 15, 2018, to advise USCIS that they request USCIS to reopen and re-adjudicate previously denied applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status pursuant to this Agreement.

    The federal court must approve the settlement Agreement and we expect will do so in the next few days.

    For question or more information, please contact the Center at (213) 388-8693 x. 305 or email crholguin@centerforhumanrights.org or pschey@centerforhumanrights.org

    To review or download the Perez-Olano Settlement Agreement reached March 4, 2015, select this link..

    Best wishes,

    Peter Schey Carlos R. Holguin
    President General Counsel
    Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law
    Immigrantchildren.org

    Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    Peter A. Schey Peter A. Schey is the President and Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law Foundation - 1980 to present. Focus of work includes technical support on constitutional rights of immigrants, refugees, and children, class action litigation of issues of issues with broad impact on indigent minority and ethnic communities, technical support and training for advocates and immigrant communities, and international human rights cases and campaigns.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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