Corrales Law Group would like to provide some information about the surge of unaccompanied children refugee from Central America that has been headlining news. We’re sharing a very brief informational video we came across that provides a simple overview of the humanitarian crisis and discusses some, though not all, of the factors. We would also like to give general tips for anyone who knows a minor in this situation:
1) Seek legal assistance before a court date is issued: Backlogs in courts mean that a hearing may not take place for months or even a year after arrival. An asylum application should be submitted within a year of arrival so it is important to not waste time. We’ve had minors show up at our office after the one year deadline because they were misinformed by others.
2) Apply for Asylum while still a minor: Applying for asylum before reaching 18 years old brings the benefit of having the application decided outside of an adversarial immigration court and if the application is denied , the applicant may still be heard before an immigration judge.
3) Ask a lawyer about other options besides asylum: Many of these minors will qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) but we’ve found that this option is not always explored. Contact us for an eligibility screening.
4) Make sure the person providing legal advice is a licensed attorney: We do not want any more victims of ‘Notario’ fraud.