FCA Article 10 - Abuse & Neglect

Admissions and Fact Finding

  • A finding of abuse or neglect could negatively impact a noncitizen by preventing him/her from:
    • becoming a citizen
    • becoming a lawful permanent resident
    • receiving relief from deportation
    • being readmitted into the U.S. after travel abroad

How can immigration authorities discover family court findings?

  • Applications for Citizenship, Permanent Residence, & other benefits
  • Interactions with Immigration Authorities
    • Questions during deportation proceedings
    • Interrogation at the border/airport
  • NYS Order of Protection Registry

Immigration authorities can deny benefits based on a finding of abuse or neglect

  • Family court findings can be used to deny a benefit based on a lack of “good moral character.”
  • Immigrants bear the burden of proof in immigration applications and can be denied a benefit if they refuse to submit family court records.

Admissions on Benefit Applications

  • Many applications seeking an immigration benefit or form of relief from removal will include broadly-worded questions that must be answered by the applicant under penalty of perjury.
    • Have you EVER committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit, a crime or offense for which were not arrested?
    • You must answer “Yes” even if your records have been sealed, expunged, or otherwise cleared.

Alternative Dispositions

  • The following dispositions may lead to the denial of an immigration benefit or protection from deportation:
    • 1051a submission: Immigration authorities will treat a 1051a submission as a finding of abuse or neglect and may request records to elucidate the “grounds for the finding.”
    • Suspended Judgment: A respondent may still be questioned by immigration authorities regarding any vacated, sealed or expunged records and/or findings despite treatment of the disposition pursuant to New York State laws.
    • Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD): Before a case is dismissed, the existence of an open family court case may still prompt questions from immigration authorities.

Family Treatment Court

  • Participation in Family Treatment Court may carry unique risks for non-citizens because:
    • Admission to drug abuse or drug addiction may render a non-citizen deportable and permanently ineligible for a green card and other benefits.
    • Admission to facts that give immigration authorities “reason to believe” a person is a “drug trafficker” can also permanently ban a noncitizen from receiving a green card or other benefits.