New CT Law Extends Deadline for Young Immigrants
July 10, 2018
Under a new law that took effect on July 1, immigrants who are 18, 19 and 20 years old and who’ve been abused, neglected or abandoned, can now ask a state probate court judge to determine if they’re eligible to apply for a federal status known as special immigrant juvenile status.
While it’s unclear how many immigrants this new law could impact, Stacey Violante Cote, director of operations for the Center for Children’s Advocacy, said the children’s legal rights organization fields several calls a week from unaccompanied minors who’ve made it to Connecticut, often after fleeing serious abuse and neglect.
One of the center’s recent clients, born in Guatemala, was abused at a very young age and eventually abandoned, forced to live under conditions that put him at risk of physical and sexual abuse, malnourishment, educational neglect, deplorable living conditions and child labor. He fled to the US… and while the organization was eventually able to help the boy obtain the required state court order when he was 16 years old, allowing him to then pursue the special immigrant juvenile status, his then-18-year-old sister was not able to seek the same protection because of her age.