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NCJ Number: 205606 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: At the Intersection of Immigration Law and Juvenile Justice
Journal: The Prosecutor  Volume:38  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2004  Pages:16,18,20,23
Author(s): C. Kevin Morrison
Date Published: May 2004
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
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United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Given that a host of immigration-related issues may be associated with many of the cases on a typical juvenile court prosecutor's desk, this article instructs juvenile-justice prosecutors in the basic knowledge of immigration matters that may affect a delinquency proceeding.
Abstract: Some immigrant children come to the United States illegally because of alleged abuse, neglect, and abandonment by their parents. In addition, some of the minors who immigrate to the United States, whether legally or illegally, have been or will be the subject of juvenile court delinquency proceedings. If a juvenile being processed entered the country illegally, then the juvenile's undocumented status makes him/her removable without regard to any outcome of the court cases. A prosecutor may receive requests from defense counsel to dismiss or defer a case because the respondent or a family member is undocumented. The prosecutor must decide whether there is a legal obligation to report the undocumented juvenile or parent to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); this decision is usually influenced by local practice and policy. Once an alien has been admitted to the country, either on a permanent basis (with a green card) or on parole while an application for admission or permanent status is pending, a criminal conviction can result in removal from the country. The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) describes in broad language the crimes that can result in deportation. The offenses that fit these categories are not always easy to determine, resulting in a significant amount of litigation in the Immigration Service administrative courts. Since most juvenile adjudications do not result in a "conviction," a delinquency adjudication for most of the offenses identified in the INA will not make the juvenile removable. Juvenile clients waived to and convicted in adult court proceedings place the juvenile at the same risk of removal as an adult offender. Still, some juvenile behavior brought to the attention of juvenile courts are grounds for removal without regard to the issue of a "conviction." These include violation of a protective order; being a drug abuser or addict; trafficking in illegal substances; and prosecution, procuring prostitution, or engaging in other "commercial vice." In "special immigrant juvenile" (SIJ) proceedings, immigration advocates use juvenile court procedures to secure permanent residency status for their alien minor clients by demonstrating that they would be or have been abandoned or subject to abuse or neglect by their parents in their home country. Under the INA, a "special immigrant juvenile" is a minor who is under the jurisdiction of an American juvenile court and who cannot or should not be returned to a parent's or other relative's custody due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect. This article discusses issues involved in prosecutors' handling of such cases. 12 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Immigration offenses; Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile justice system; Prosecution; Prosecutors
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