The Second Department, reversing Family Court, determined mother’s motion for an order making the findings to enable her child to petition for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) should have been granted;
Pursuant to 8 USC § 1101(a)(27)(J) … and 8 CFR 204.11, a “special immigrant” is a resident alien who, inter alia, is under 21 years of age, unmarried, and dependent upon a juvenile court or legally committed to an individual appointed by a state or juvenile court. Additionally, for a juvenile to qualify for SIJS, a court must find that reunification of the juvenile with one or both of the juvenile’s parents is not viable due to parental abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under state law …, and that it would not be in the juvenile’s best interests to be returned to his or her native country or country of last habitual residence … .
Here, the child is under the age of 21 and unmarried, and has been “legally committed to, or placed under the custody of . . . an individual . . . appointed by a State or juvenile court” within the meaning of 8 USC § 1101(a)(27)(J)(i) … . Further, based upon our independent factual review, we find that the record supports the mother’s contention that the child’s reunification with her father is not viable due to abandonment … , and that it would not be in the best interests of the child to be returned to El Salvador … . Matter of Fatima J. A. J. (Ana A. J. S. — Carlos E. A. F.), 2016 NY Slip Op 01673, 2nd Dept 3-9-16
FAMILY LAW (SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS, MOTION FOR REQUISITE FINDINGS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED)/SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS (MOTION FOR REQUISITE FINDINGS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED)