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Ombudsman Recommendation: Special Immigrant Juvenile Adjudications

Impact on the Public

Read the full Recommendation (PDF, 9 pages, 211 KB)

It has long been the practice of the U.S. government to demonstrate global leadership by providing a number of humanitarian avenues for immigrants who are in the most vulnerable and desperate of situations, including children who find themselves in this country without parental support due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or another similar basis. Supporting feedback from the public, the Ombudsman recommends specific actions that USCIS can take to improve the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) adjudications.

Recommendations

On April 15, 2011, the Ombudsman recommended that USCIS take the following actions to strengthen the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program:

  1. Standardize its practices of:
    1. Providing specialized training for those officers adjudicating SIJ status;
    2. Establishing dedicated SIJ units or points of contacts at local offices; and
    3. Ensuring adjudications are completed within the statutory timeframe.
  2. Cease requesting the evidence underlying state court determinations of foreign child dependency.

Issue guidance, including agency regulations, regarding adequate evidence for SIJ filings, including general criteria for what triggers an interview for the SIJ petition, and make this information available on the USCIS website. 

Status

Read the USCIS Response to Recommendation 47, issued on July 15, 2011. (PDF, 7 Pages – 149 KB)

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