With Congress, the Executive Branch, and the federal judiciary at odds over how to mend the country’s broken immigration system, now, more than ever, is the time to promote positive changes in state legislation for immigrants.
A group composed of students and experts in immigration and family law from American Friends Service Committee, the Child Advocacy Clinic at Rutgers University School of Law–Newark, Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center developed model statutory language aimed at promoting uniformity across jurisdictions as well as the right of all Special Immigrant Juvenile Status–eligible immigrant children to access their respective state court systems. The project was part of a broader effort funded with a grant of $200,000 over the course of two years.
The model state statute titled “Special Provisions for Immigrant Youth: A Model State Statute” was prepared with the aspiration of overcoming jurisdictional barriers and achieving consistency across states for immigrant youth.
“The time is overdue for state legislative action to ensure that all children and youth who are eligible for SIJS have access to state courts,” said Dora Galacatos, Executive Director of the Feerick Center for Social Justice.