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U.S. adopts rules easing path to green cards for abused, neglected minors -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Information packets are distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after a ceremony to become a citizen at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston, Massachusetts (USA), July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters] – U.S. Immigration authorities have released new policies Monday to make it easier for immigrant Minors that are the victims of parent abuse or neglect to be eligible for green card. This finalizes changes originally proposed over a decade ago.

U.S.CIS rules Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS), expands the eligibility pool for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status and clarifies the evidence required to support an applicant’s application.

This program was created in 1990 and allows immigrant under 21 years old to apply to the United States for permanent residence if they are found to need protection or that it is unsafe to return to their homeland. Over 130,000 applications were approved since 2010.

Advocates for immigrants and lawyers have turned towards the SIJ program to provide legal residence in the United States to young migrants from countries with violent histories. However, some have criticised the SIJ program for being too permissive and encouraging further migration.

The USCIS significantly increased documentation requests from SIJ applicants during the Trump presidency, drawing many more cases.

Many petitions were denied by the agency for applicants under 18 years of age, arguing that they are ineligible as state family courts lack jurisdiction.

USCIS announced Monday that the rules were designed to simplify the application process by stating what documents must be submitted to support eligibility for SIJ status. It is also clear that applicants younger than 21 years old can apply.

Ur Jaddou, Director of USCIS, stated in a statement that the policies will help abandoned or abused children rebuild their lives in America.

She stated that these policies would provide protection for vulnerable youth who have been ruled by a juvenile court to be in America in their best interests.

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