Immigrant Justice in State Courts
Family court dispositions can impact immigrants both positively and negatively. Immigrants who are survivors of violence or witnesses to crime may be able to regularize their immigration status by submitting crucial court documents in support of their applications for VAWA self-petitions or U visas. Likewise, young people who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by at least one parent may be able to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status upon special findings by the family court judge. Conversely, some family court dispositions can render an immigrant deportable, trigger an immigration detainer or impair an immigrant’s ability to successfully obtain a green card or naturalization certificate. It is therefore essential that judges, family court attorneys and court staff understand the intersection of the family court and immigration systems in order to safeguard immigrants’ rights and provide effective counsel.
A statewide coalition of immigration and family law experts has compiled a series of legal reference guides on the complex intersection of family court issues and federal immigration laws, policy, and enforcement.
These legal reference guides are created for all who use the courts. We focus on providing members of the NYS judiciary and court personnel with an accessible resource that presents the important role of state court judges. The materials are also useful for attorneys, community organizations, nonprofits, government agencies and the public.