CILA has produced a brand-new resource intended to help practitioners determine if there is law in a specific state that directly and intentionally benefits youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS): Summary of State Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Legislation. In consultation with local practitioners in the different jurisdictions, CILA researched which states have introduced SIJS specific legislation that subsequently passed and entered into law. This information is neatly summarized in table format in the resource with links to the law as it was codified, links to any information on the sponsor/introducer of the legislation, and other relevant information.
It is hoped that this resource will be useful not only to advocates working to secure SIJS for their child clients, some of whom may relocate to other states, but also for those advocating for legislative changes in their own states. Currently 17 states have passed legislation that directly addresses SIJS. Common examples of the issues addressed by the legislation are giving state courts permission and/or requiring them to make the required SIJS findings if requested, raising the upper age limit of the state’s definition for juvenile or minor in certain situations, and/or changing statutory language to reflect the federal SIJS language. CILA envisions that advocates could use the legislative changes and text to get ideas and examples for the 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have not yet passed similar legislation, as well as reach out to the sponsors of the legislation to hear about their experience.