Relief for Immigrant Children and Youth
The path to lawful immigration status is often a complicated one, and ILAP believes that no child or young person should face the immigration system alone. We offer legal representation and assistance to immigration children and youth residing in Maine, many of whom are eligible for specialized forms of immigration relief.
SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS (SIJS)
Immigrant young people in the United States who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which is a form of immigration relief that provides a pathway to lawful permanent residency. ILAP attorneys provide direct legal representation to SIJS-eligible immigrant children and youth, helping them to navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system that they would otherwise be unequipped to handle on their own. Because many of ILAP’s SIJS clients are in removal proceedings, our work in this area frequently involves representing children and youth in immigration court.
DEFERRED ACTION FOR
CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
The DACA program was created in 2012 to provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to eligible young people who are undocumented and were brought to the United States as children. Although it is not a pathway to permanent legal status, it has allowed dozens of Maine residents to remain in the state, continue their education, build their careers and contribute to their communities. As a result of ongoing legal challenges, the future of the DACA program is uncertain. At this time, however, people who currently have or have had DACA may apply to renew it.
ILAP’s staff guides DACA-holders through the renewal process, ensures the timely submission of renewal paperwork and provides information on other legal remedies that may be available.
Note that the future of the DACA program is currently being decided in the federal court system. Anyone with questions about DACA should contact our office at 207-780-1593.