J and S were abandoned by their father when both were young and have reunited with their mother...
- Client Location: Spring Valley
- Type of Relief: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
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Facts: J and S are siblings from Ecuador who came to the U.S. to reunite with their mother and younger brother. J is 17 and S is 13. J's father abandoned him and J's mother when he was just an infant. He has never had a relationship with his father, who denied paternity. When J was 4, his mother left to go to the U.S. in order to better support her family from afar. J grew up in a household with his grandmother, aunt, sister and younger cousins. At a very young age, J's grandmother put him in charge of doing all the house work, which included taking care of his younger cousins and sister, all of whom were between the ages of 2-3 years old. He was responsible for cleaning the house and backyard, cooking, and giving food to their farm animals, on top of his schoolwork. J's grandmother would hit him if she felt he was being disobedient and would kick him out of the house when he did not complete the tasks on her timeline. J was also bullied by kids at school and in his neighborhood. S was just an infant when her mother left Ecuador and she never knew her father. S was also abused by her grandmother and faced bullying at school that became so significant that she was forced to change schools. When she was 12, an older boy assaulted her. S became fearful that this boy would continue trying to hurt her since she knew another classmate who had become pregnant after a similar encounter. J and S are happy and safe in the U.S. with their mother and step-father and both are receiving counseling to help them deal with their experiences.
Legal Assessment: The siblings are in removal proceedings and are 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 J and S to remain in the U.S. with her mother. The siblings need a volunteer attorney to fight their case before the Rockland County Family Court and the Immigration Court.
J and S are Spanish speaking clients.
- Immigrant Children