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ABSTRACT

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a form of immigration relief available to undocumented children who are under the jurisdiction of a state juvenile court (defined broadly), who cannot be reunified with one or both parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, or similar basis under state law, and in whose best interest it is to remain in the United States. Although immigration is a federal issue, Congress has directed that state juvenile courts make the factual findings that establish basic SIJS eligibility. Without these findings, children may never be able to legalize their status in the U.S. and become productive, contributing members of society.