The Second Department, reversing Family Court, determined Family Court should have made findings which would allow the juvenile to petition for special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS). Reunification with a parent was precluded by parental neglect, including excessive corporal punishment, and forcing the juvenile to work rather than attend school:
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, is unmarried, and has been legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an individual appointed by a state or juvenile court. Additionally, for a juvenile to qualify for special immigrant juvenile status, 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 … .
Based upon our independent factual review, we conclude that the record supports a finding that reunification of the child with one or both of his parents is not a viable option based upon parental neglect, which includes the infliction of excessive corporal punishment and requiring the child to begin working at the age of 12 instead of attending school on a regular basis … . The record further supports a finding that it would not be in the best interests of the child to return to India … . Matter of Palwinder K. v Kuldeep K., 2017 NY Slip Op 02423. 2nd Dept 3-29-17