SIJ Status Granted on Abandonment

These opinions can be difficult to find, so I’m copying the lengthy relevant language here:

Finally, USCIS will consent to a grant of SIJ classification upon a determination that the request is bona fide. See Section 101(a)(27)(J)(iii) of the Act; TVPRA – SIJ Provisions Memo at 3. The director questioned the juvenile court’s finding of abandonment based on evidence in the record that the petitioner’s mother resides in Omaha, the petitioner had listed her as his emergency contact on several official forms, and because “she is still active in [the petitioner’s] life.” Decision of the Director, at 3. On appeal, the petitioner contends that the record supports the juvenile court’s finding of parental abandonment. See Brief on Appeal, dated Dec. 15, 2010.

Here, the petitioner has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he was abandoned by his parents, and that his request for SIJ classification is bona fide. Specifically, after conducting a hearing, the juvenile court determined that the petitioner had been abandoned by his mother. See Order for Appointment of Permanent Guardian. The court found that the petitioner’s mother had notice of the hearing, but that she failed to appear in court. Id. The court also found that the petitioner’s paternity has never been established, and that he has never had any contact with his father. Id.; see also Birth Certificate of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY] (leaving blank name of the petitioner’s father). The petitioner presented testimony during his SIJ interview that his mother abandoned him when he was an infant, and that he lived with, and was raised by, his grandmother. See Form I-360. The petitioner further explained in his affidavit that although his mother has had sporadic contact with him, she has never taken care of him. Affidavit of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY] The petitioner’s uncle states that the petitioner had been raised by his grandmother since infancy because his mother was too young to care for him, and because “she is not that kind of person who cares about family ties.” Affidavit of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY] dated Dec. 6, 2010; see also Birth Certificate of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY] (noting that the petitioner’s mother was 15 years old at the time of his birth). Further, the affidavits indicate that the petitioner’s mother has never shown an interest in being part of the petitioner’s life, and she did not try to help him after his grandmother’s death. Affidavit of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY] Affidavit of [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY]

Although the record reflects that the petitioner’s mother has resided in Omaha and has used the petitioner’s address; that she once sent him a letter in March, 2010, while he was incarcerated; and that the petitioner twice listed his mother as a contact; these factors do not necessarily contradict a finding of parental abandonment in this case, or show that the juvenile court’s determination was uninformed. In sum, the preponderance of the evidence in the record supports the juvenile court’s finding of abandonment.

 

IN RE: [IDENTIFYING INFORMATION REDACTED BY AGENCY], 2011 WL 7790423 (INS).

One Reply to “SIJ Status Granted on Abandonment”

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