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How Can You Secure a Green Card for Your Children in Time?

How to secure a green card for your children facing deportation?

There is hope.

In this episode of the Viva Visa Podcast, we dive deep into the crucial Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) process, your beacon to securing a green card for your children.

Our expert immigration attorney, Kousha Adhami, breaks down the complexities of the state court stage, the make-or-break juncture where many SIJS applications are won or lost.

You’ll learn:

  • The common pitfalls that can derail your child’s case
  • Proven strategies to navigate the state court maze and emerge victorious
  • How to maximize your child’s chances of obtaining a green card

This episode is a must-listen for any parent or guardian of an undocumented immigrant child.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control of your child’s future, and listen now!


Hello everyone and welcome back to the viva visa podcast your beacon in the complex journey towards US permanent residency, I’m Amir sed, and you’re tuned into our very special Episode 3, where we take a deep dive into a crucial part of the SIJS application to state court process.

In our first two episodes, we lay the groundwork discussing What the Special Immigrant juvenile status or known as SIJS is and who it’s for. We’ve covered the basics and the initial steps, but today we’re zooming in on a critical juncture in your journey, navigating the intricacies of the state court . Now, the State Court is not just another step, it’s a pivotal battleground where many SIJS applications are won or lost. It’s here. That the fate of many hopefuls is decided. We’ll explore the nuances of this process, the common reasons applications stumble, and most importantly, the strategies that lead to success. We’ve got expert inside real life histories and a comprehensive breakdown of what you can expect and how to prepare this episode. Is a must listen whether you’re in the middle of your sijs application or just looking to understand more about these unique pathway to immigration. So get ready for an highlighting journey through this state court mix. We here to guide you through each twist and turn, helping you move one step closer. To achieving your American Dream, Stay with us as we delve into the state court process for sijs applicants right here on episode three of the Viva Visas Podcast.

Host ( _ ): Hi Kousha. Welcome to the show.

Attorney Kousha Adhami (=): Hey, Amir, thank you for having me.

_  Good, great. This is our third episode where we will explore a variety of topics.

= Yes,

_ and I’m sure there are many questions will be addressing today.

= We’re gonna keep. That’s fine.

_ Good. Thank you. Kousha. Let’s quickly recap. You discussed SIJS in the first two episodes. Focusing on this stage is crucial for applying for a SIJS case, right?

= Yeah,

_ In case where a state court denies or rejects A petition for SIJS. What are the subsequent steps or recourse available to the applicants?

= Very good question, SO. It depends, Amir. It depends first of all in which state court we are, whether we in the guardianship court or whether we are in a in a family law court. But there are several options that can be exercised if the case is denied or rejected so. When we’re talking about a denial of a case at the state court level, this means that when the petition for guardianship or custody, along with the SIJS finding has been filed, it means that the judge has reviewed the case and has made a decision that The child is not eligible for either SIJS or guardianship or both, so the first option is that. This the denial can be appealed to a next level court. So in this case would be the California Court of Appeals and depending on the circumstances of the case, the attorney has to evaluate whether it’s worth it or not. If a case is usually denied with prejudice, it’s unlikely that the child is unlikely that the petition can be refiled again. But if a case Is denied without prejudice and if there has been some issues with the petition, or the attorney didn’t really do a good job in filing the petition, maybe the petition can be refiled. Now the question is, uh, how much time you have? Because SIJS is a very time specific type of relief. As I mentioned previously, the state court predicate order must be obtained as soon as possible and USCIS has to receive the child’s SIJS predicate petition and approval at least before the child turns the age of 21. You shouldn’t wait all the way to file it. That would be kind of unreasonable, but that’s usually the options that can be exercised.

_ What is the second stage After submitting the case in this state court:

= As I described previously, when the first stage is completed when we receive the predicate orders then we have to file the I360 with USCIS. So once we obtain the orders then the next step is following the I360 the visa decisions visa with USCIS.

_ How long does it take from the day of submitting the case to receive the court order?

= Usually, I mean depending on the courts hearing. Usually my estimation has been from the time that the petition is filed with the state court, It usually takes somewhere around three to five months for us to get a hearing and a final at the final like hearing so we can obtain the court order. So I would say a I’m not gonna say estimate, so I’m gonna say guesstimate;

_ right, right.

= guesstimate depending on how busy that court is and it depending on like whether your SIJS is going to get granted at the first hearing or not. Which we usually get our subscript to that first year. OK, Usually you’re looking at like 3 to five months.

_ OK, here is a scenario some of our audience members ask about. if a child turns 21 in May, but we apply for the petition in March. nearly 2 months before the actual birthday and the hearing is in August. What happens to the case?

= OK alright so in that particular case I also explained this on my previous ,at the previous episode. So if the if the petition is filed in March and you get a hearing for example for the month of August. In that case, just sitting around waiting for the hearing to take place in August, you’re completely destroying your client and you’re depriving them of the opportunity to apply for their SIJS with USCIS. So in that case an ex-party application must be Filed in order to advance the hearing to a date that is done to a date that is set before the child’s 21st birthday. So if the hearing is set for March, you should at least get a hearing that is either like end of you know, middle of April or at least end of April. So that would give you at least. Few days to file the I360 with US and we have been in this situation. It’s very stressful for the client and us. Yeah. And I actually sometimes have dreams about it. I have dreams about the cases that we take because they’re very serious this if they don’t get SIJS or if USCIS does not receive the I-360 before they turn 21, it’s done. It’s done.

_ It could lead to deportation?

= it could lead to deportation.

_ right, right. If you don’t get the desired result, which is the predicate order in the first stage at the state court, does the next step potentially lead to the deportation or removal?

= It’s a very technical question. OK, so it could lead to deportation or deportation order by immigration judge. Now let’s break it down as to how this can lead to a deportation, OK? The first category would be that if the child is in removal proceedings when the SIJS petition is taking place with the state court level. So if the child has entered the US and for some reason had been placed in removal proceeding. You have a hearing, a master calendar hearing, or an individual hearing that is set by immigration judge. If. Umm. If the immigration attorney has informed the court that they are in the process of applying for SIJS, the immigration judge wants to know or wants to see the proof of the I360. Now let’s just say you have a case. Where the minor is in immigration court and subsequently you are filing a SIJS Guardianship or custody petition with the state court. So if you as the attorney are unable to obtain the SIJS State court orders so you can file the I360 with USCIS and if you’re unable To provide the proof of the predicate orders or the I360 with the immigration judge Then this can definitely lead into deportation order, especially if the child does not have any other reliefs or if their asylum case is not very good, which is very very very common. I mean, I can’t tell you this from practice. I have seen judges grilling immigration attorneys in front of me at the at the immigration in the immigration court. Because they there’s the immigration attorney was neglect for in pursuing either SIJS Or they have neglected to pursue the SIJS and the child has aged out. Or their immigration attorney has neglected this and they have been unable to obtain the predicate order to file the I 360 so they can provide the proof with immigration judge and immigration just said, you know what? I’m done with this. I provided you enough time to provide this to me. Now I’m gonna go ahead and we’re gonna go forward with this case and I’m gonna issue deportation order with to this child that you as the attorney have Misrepresented at the immigration court. I have seen this in front of my eyes. Like there was Judge Tabador who was in charge of the SIJS cases or was in charge of the minor cases in six or 6 S Olive St. in the downtown LA immigration court. I have seen this happen. So if the child is in removal proceeding, right. So they’re in court and the attorney, the immigration attorney. Let me just rephrase it down. If their child is in immigration court and their child is eligible for SIJS and the immigration attorney is unable to provide Proof of the I360 or the SIJS findings with the immigration judge. At some point remove all proceedings will continue and the immigration judge will issue a removal order or a deportation order that can be very difficult to reopen and can ultimately lead to the Removal of physical removal after child once the case is terminated. So timing of this is very important because the majority of clients that we also represent are from Central America and most of these children that come into the US are unaccompanied minors. And most of them for what we have, they do qualify for SIJS and asylum and they usually don’t have a good asylum case, so SIJS is their only way out, and I tell them this at my consultation. You know, when they meet with me, I tell them you want a green card You want to make sure that you pursue a proper relief In order to have a legal status in the US, you must Do SIJS correctly from the beginning all the way to the end. Now if the child is not in removal proceeding right! So they’re not continuously being, I would say what’s the word not controlled by control continuously being

_ Observed

=  Thank you. And if they’re if they’re case are not being continuously observed by the immigration judge then they’re not gonna be subject to a deportation. However, if the child. Qualifies for SIJS and SIJS is not pursued timely and they age out. That’s a done deal.

_ Can attorneys not intervene at this stage?

= The moment the child turns 21, it’s a done deal. So if USCIS does not receive the child’s I360 with the proper predicate orders Before they turn 21 That’s it. So the only thing you can do is, is, is is do some sort of a magic, right, and go back in time, exactly, in order for USA to exit because there are very strict about this. Yeah, you know I’ve had, I’ve done appeals for cases where with USCIS where the I 360 was received. After they turn 21 and explain so many circumstances, USCIS is very very, very very very very I’m gonna say again, very rigid about this.

Green Card Countdown: Stuck in State Court Limbo. Is Your Child’s Future on Hold?

_ This is a bottle neck. if USCIS does not receive any evidence or predicate order from the state court Regarding the child being under custody of someone, an agency or the court itself, then the case cannot move forward. Is that correct?

= It would be. It’s more of a if then type of thing. Yeah. So if there is A, then it must be B, right. If there is no state court. Predicate order or order then filing any petition for the I360 with USCIS is Completely frivolous and if it doesn’t get you anywhere there must be a Custody or guardianship order that appoints an individual in the custody of the child. Yeah, and the court must make the findings that reunification with one or both parents is not viable due to neglect, abandonment and or abuse. And it is on the child’s best interest to return to their home country. If any of these are are missing USCIS may not necessarily deny the case right away. They may issue a request for evidence for you to provide one more opportunity to

_ They give you space to by the time infact

= yeah, to provide this evidence, but if there if the state court has not issued those these orders then there’s nothing you can do, nothing can be done at the immigration level because it is the petition is  Based on the court, the court state court order and the state court finding.

_ Ok, in the first stage concerning the state court, we need to consider three things. Number one, age limits and the time a child has, yes. #2, providing sufficient evidence that it’s in the child’s best interest to stay in the United States due to neglect, abuse or other circumstances, as previously mentioned, Absolutely. And three, ensuring there is ample time for the state court to work on the case and issue the state court order. right correct, which we then submit with the I360. Yes, So I emphasize this  For our audience, it’s not just about your situation. A significant part of your case hinges on timing and…

=    I think, I think, act fast.

_ Exactly

=   I’ll tell you what, OK Being in the field of immigration for so many years, this is what we say among other colleagues and especially particularly related to SIJS in immigration and in SIJS if you have something good, if you have a relief available, push it through, get it done, right. Right. Because immigration law is also very Administrative oriented. That means with different administrations, with different presidents, USCIS can act differently. We have experienced that with Trump, right, with Biden, with Obama and then with previous administrations as well and and every each administration Has its own agenda. And unfortunately, sometimes they tend to target different groups, you know, so an administration cannot necessarily change the laws about SIJS, right, because that’s what Congress has made designate. But they can, but they can delay the process or they can Caused delays in the process. So right if you have a child, or if the child is eligible for SIJS, get an attorney, contact us, We’ll file the SIJS petition with the court as soon as possible. We’ll get the state order, file the I-360 and then wait for The next step to happen for them, right. And another benefit of filing the I360 are the following: number one, especially with the recent changes USCIS is actually issued A memorandum and an authority allowing SIJS applicants to apply for work authorization with the I 360 approval on the different action. This was not done before. OK, right #2. If you have a child that is eligible for SIJS and they already have I 360 pending or they have I 360 approval, right, right. They are gonna be prevented from being deported. So if they get picked up by ICE or if they get in remove proceedings and their only issue is that they encountered ICED Just because of their unlawful status, umm, immigration judges are more than likely gonna close the case. And they said, well, this person’s gonna be eligible for SIJS, right Well, all we have to do is just waiting for their priority date to become current, that they can apply for the green card. So SIJS is very time oriented, right, Right. You can’t sit on it. You gotta pursue it.

_ OK, Kousha, thanks for joining us and I want to say thank you to our listeners. I hope you enjoyed and learned from today’s episode. Make sure to check out the show notes with the description for access to our website. And also make sure to share this episodes with your friends and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast. We really appreciate hearing feedback from you, so please share a review for this episode or check out our website and ask your questions. We are located in 21031 Ventura Blvd. Ste. Number 760, Woodland Hills, CA 91364. You can also call us at 213-204-6500. Until the next episode, take care and bye.