Given the extremely high number of undocumented juveniles in the country at any given moment, the pathways that allow for documentation and eventual citizenship are gravely important to understand. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is just one option available to immigrant children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, as a pathway to permanent legal resident status in the United States. Since SIJS is highly dependent on state courts and statutes, states must provide for the most efficient and effective ways for juveniles to navigate through SIJS proceedings to better protect immigrant children in the United States. This Comment considers SIJS and calls for the expansion of protections for immigrant juveniles living in the State of Nebraska. Part II will examine the process for obtaining SIJS, the history of the federal SIJS statutes, the relationship between state courts and federal courts during the process, and the application of SIJS statutes in various states. Part III of this Comment will discuss Nebraska’s solidification of authority for courts to make SIJS findings and argue that Nebraska, which is already trending toward expanding certain protections for juveniles, should expand jurisdiction for SIJS proceedings until juveniles reach the age of twenty-one.
Abused, Abandoned, Neglected, and Still Not Protected: The Need for an Expansion of Juvenile Immigrants’ Rights in Nebraska,
100 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol100/iss1/6