Immigrants who don’t have legal status, and who are victims of crime, can apply to stay in the country legally if they’re determined to be helpful to law enforcement. But victims’ advocates have complained some family court judges weren’t signing the paperwork for these U visas, because they didn’t understand the process.
The Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court responded by giving New York judges a guidance memo with background history and frequently asked questions.
- Memo #1: Guidance on Guardianship Matters and Applications for Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) Findings
- Memo #2: Guidance on Family Court Role in U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
The Fund for Modern Courts believes that the President’s recent unjust criticism of a federal district court judge and his disparaging comments about the review by the United States Court of Appeals both weakens the public’s confidence in the judiciary and undermines the rule of law. This disrespect for a co-equal branch of government threatens the constitutional principles of our democracy. (more…)
December 19, 2016, New York, NY – The Fund for Modern Courts today released a report entitled, Achieving a Consistent and Legally Sound U Visa Certification Process in New York Family Courts, which finds there is significant confusion within New York’s Family Court regarding the U Nonimmigrant Status (“U Visa”) certification process. The report clarifies existing applicable law and recommends ways to alleviate confusion and ensure a more consistent and predictable process for U Visa certification in the Family Court.
New York State’s passed legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old, enabling thousands of youth to avoid having a criminal record and receive the services they need, while keeping communities safer.
This law will mean that most 16 and 17 year olds will have their cases heard in the Family Court, no youth will be placed on Rikers Island, all youth will be in youth facilities, and parents will be notified if their child is arrested.
From the report: “.….Nowhere in the New York state court system is the question of immigration status more tightly bound up with state law than in the New York family courts. Judges must grapple with difficult questions of how a parent’s immigration status should be weighed when determining what is in the best interest of the child in a custody proceeding, (more…)
Cable News Television Report on New York State adding more Family Court Judges…see more here
Note: the Coalition interview begins at time 37:30.
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In response to the Assembly and Senate One House Bills, the New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges issued the following statement:
The Family Courts are desperately short of resources, including Family Court Judges. The New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges is grateful that both the Senate and Assembly recognized the critical need in their one house bills by supporting the Judiciary’s budget request to add 20 more Family Court Judges statewide. (more…)
Modern Courts joins with Citizen Union and the New York City Bar Association to Urge Mayor-Elect De Blasio to Continue the Merit Selection Process
New York, NY – The Fund and Committee for Modern Courts supports the Constitutional Amendment to increase the maximum retirement age of judges of the Court of Appeals and Justices of the Supreme Court (Proposal Number Six) on the ballot for the November 5, 2013 election which amends the New York State Constitution, sections 2 and 25 of article 6, to provide that: (a) a Justice of the Supreme Court would be eligible for two additional two-year terms of certification after the present retirement age of 70, instead of the three such terms currently authorized; and (b) a Judge of the Court of Appeals who reaches the age of 70 while in office would be permitted to remain in service on the Court for up to a maximum of ten years beyond the present retirement age of 70 in order to complete the term to which that Judge was appointed.