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New Guide on Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors and the State Courts

The Center for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) are increasing state court capacity to address the increasing number of immigrant children likely to appear in state courts.  With SJI support, CPPS and the NCSC recently released a Guide to State Court Cases Involving Unaccompanied Immigrant Children.  The purpose of the Guide is to increase understanding among state court judges, court administrators, and other key stakeholders regarding:

  • Federal immigration law, policy, and practice, and the impact on state court cases involving Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs);
  • How the work of the state courts in cases involving UACs intersects with the needs of the federal immigration system;
  • The different types of cases and matters where UACs might appear in state courts; and
  • The potential role of the state courts in providing factual findings in cases involving UACs.

While there are other forms of federal immigration relief for refugees, victims of human trafficking, and other groups, the Guide focuses solely on the state court findings required for use in federal determination of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). The Guide also provides recommended action steps for state courts to use in addressing cases involving UACs.

To date, CPPS and the NCSC have: hosted a national webinar on the UAC issue, which is available online;  created a webpage for additional resources; released an information card for judges and court practitioners on SIJS.