Mar 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

U.S. will consider deferring deportation for some minors

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur M. Jaddou
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ur Jaddou. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The U.S. will consider deferring the deportation of children who are facing state court proceedings "related to abuse, neglect, abandonment" or similar circumstances, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Monday.

Why it matters: The proposed changes that were first put forth more than a decade ago would make it easier for such minors to qualify for green cards, according to Reuters.

State of play: The policy update will expand the pool of children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, which allows children under 21 to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. if a court determines that they need protection, per Reuters.

  • Deferment will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and if granted, will be valid for a period of four years, USCIS noted.
  • The update to USCIS' policy will be effective starting May 6.

The bottom line: "These policies will provide humanitarian protection to vulnerable young people for whom a juvenile court has determined that it is in their best interest to remain in the United States," said USCIS Director Ur Jaddou in a statement, per Reuters.

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