Family Court & Immigration Project – Why It Matters

Family court dispositions are crucial to the safety and wellbeing of all litigants, including immigrants. State Court Judge decisions impact immigrants both positively and negatively. Immigrants who are survivors of violence or witnesses to crime may be able to legalize their immigration status by submitting crucial court documents in support of their applications for VAWA self-petitions or U visas.

Likewise, young people who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by at least one parent may be able to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status upon findings by the family court judge. Conversely, some family court dispositions can render an immigrant deportable, trigger an immigration detainer or impair an immigrant’s ability to successfully obtain a green card or naturalization certificate.

It is therefore essential to understand the intersection of the state laws, family court, federal laws, and immigration status, policy, and enforcement.