D was abandoned by his father who was arrested for drug trafficking and incarcerated. Help D...
- Client Location: Corona
- Type of Relief: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
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Facts: D is a 19-year-old native of Colombia who came to the U.S. to reunite with his mother. For the first few years of his life, D grew up living with both of his parents, but his father, P, was not an active part of his life and D also witnessed physical violence between P and his mother. When D was around 5 years old, P was arrested for drug trafficking and was extradited to the United States for prosecution. P was convicted and served several years in prison in the U.S. During this time, he did not have any contact with D. After P’s incarceration he returned to Colombia but he still did not behave like a father to his son. Although D tried to maintain a relationship with his father, P was unable to find steady employment or to provide financially or emotionally for his son. P may also have returned to his criminal past, and his ties to criminal gangs and drug traffickers put D’s life in danger. In 2013, when D was about 12 years old, P’s enemies shot at the house where D lived; another time a few years later, P’s enemies were looking for him while D was with him, and D and his father had to escape their pursuers and hide to avoid being killed. D now lives in Queens with his mother, step-father and half-brother, where he is safe and thriving. D attended and completed high school at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School in 2019, and dreams of becoming a bilingual educator so that he can help recently arrived immigrants learn English. Presently, D is the only person working in his household as his mother and step-father were laid off due to COVID-19.
Legal Assessment: D is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a visa for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent. This status will allow D to remain in the U.S. with his family. D needs a dedicated pro bono volunteer advocate to help him file a guardianship petition at the Queens County Family Court and then submit his application for SIJS to USCIS.
D is a Spanish speaking client.
- Immigrant Children