“If you turn 18, you are too old to apply for a green card and stay in the U.S. under a government program that allows young immigrants who have been victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect by their parents,” or at least that’s the clear message that the Trump administration is sending by denying green card status to hundreds of young immigrants.
The government program in question has been in place since 1990, and allows eligible applicants to seek a court-appointed guardian and a green card to live in the U.S. legally before they turn 21. “But looks like the Trump administration is trying to revise the current rule and drop the eligible age to 18,” explains our Salt Lake City green card attorney at Familia America.
At least that’s the only explanation we have for hundreds of denials that young immigrants have been receiving lately. If you are fleeing an abusive home and get your application for a green card rejected because you are “too old,” do not hesitate to speak to an experienced green card lawyer Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah.
How young immigrants can obtain a green card in the U.S.
Under the program that allows young immigrants to obtain a green card and stay in the U.S. if they have been subject to abuse, abandonment or neglect in their home country, applicants must file paperwork before age 21. But judging from hundreds of denial notices over the past 12 months in California, New York, Texas, and New Jersey, the Trump administration has a new interpretation of the law: To be eligible, you must apply before age 18.
While dropping the eligibility age could affect thousands of young immigrants fleeing abusive homes, immigration lawyers are filing lawsuits to oppose the denials.
For many young immigrants applying for green cards under this government program, being allowed to stay in the U.S. is the question of life and death. Under immigration law, young immigrants can arrive on the U.S. border if they were victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect by a parent to request a guardian and then apply for a green card to stay in the U.S.
More than 50,000 young immigrants fleeing abusive homes obtained green cards since 2010
Our Salt Lake City green card lawyer says that since 2010, more than 50,000 young immigrants have managed to obtain a green card through the program that allows young immigrants to flee abusive homes. It has long been considered that applying for special immigrant juvenile status is a much more favorable option to seek refuge in the U.S. than going through court hearings before an immigration officer or judge to seek asylum in the U.S.
Interestingly, while green card applications under the child abuse program have surged in recent years, the number of denials also increased. Over the past two years alone, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected a whopping 2,000 applications, which is more than all of the previous seven years since 2010 combined.
Let’s put those denials into perspective. If in 2016 and 2017, only 4 and 7 percent of green card applications under the program were denials, respectively, a staggering more than 20 percent of applications were denied in the period between October 2017 and June 2018.
If you have been a victim of child abuse, neglect or abandonment by a parent in your home country, you applied for a green card, and your application has been denied due to age, speak to our skilled green card attorney in Salt Lake City at Familia America. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 801-656-9605.