Hundreds of immigrant kids could avoid deportation from NJ
Hundreds of immigrant children could avoid deportation under a New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling handed down Wednesday.
The unanimous ruling overturns two lower court rulings — one involving a pair of sisters from El Salvador and one involving a boy from India, all now living in New Jersey. In both cases, lower courts said the children had to show they were abused or abandoned by both of their parents in their home countries to be considered for legal residency.
But the Supreme Court said showing one parent abused a child should be enough to consider giving the child "special immigrant juvenile status."
While the federal Department of Homeland Security decides whether in such cases whether reunification with "one or both" parents is not viable because of abuse or abandonment, it relies on state courts to make factual findings.
Rutgers’ Clinical Law faculty had advocated on behalf of the immigrant children.
“The two cases decided today will have widespread implications for immigrant children residing in New Jersey who are in danger of being deported,” Rutgers Law School Professor Randi Mandelbaum said in a statement from the school.
Professor Meredith Schalick said the ruling brings New Jersey in line with how several other states handle the federal rule.
"As law professors teaching students how to handle these difficult cases, we are pleased the Court clarified how the law should be applied in our Family Courts across New Jersey," she said.
NJ.com cited experts estimating as many as 500 children could be affected.
The full ruling is below: