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Immigrant Issues in Child Welfare Overview of Immigration Status Overview of Immigration Status Definition of Terms Definition of Terms Assessment of Immigration.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigrant Issues in Child Welfare Overview of Immigration Status Overview of Immigration Status Definition of Terms Definition of Terms Assessment of Immigration."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigrant Issues in Child Welfare Overview of Immigration Status Overview of Immigration Status Definition of Terms Definition of Terms Assessment of Immigration Status Assessment of Immigration Status

2 HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) Directorate of Border and Transportation Security Directorate of Border and Transportation Security Customs and Border Protection Customs and Border Protection Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement United States Citizenship and Immigration Services United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

3 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Governs all aspects of immigration and citizenship issues Governs all aspects of immigration and citizenship issues Replaced the responsibilities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Replaced the responsibilities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)www.uscis.gov

4 An Alien Is: Any person who is not a citizen of the United States Any person who is not a citizen of the United States Any person who is present in the United States without the legal right to be here (undocumented alien) Any person who is present in the United States without the legal right to be here (undocumented alien) Any non-citizen legally present in the United States as either an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa holder Any non-citizen legally present in the United States as either an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa holder

5 Proof of Legal Status Birth certificate Birth certificate Naturalization documents Naturalization documents Alien Registration card – aka a green card Alien Registration card – aka a green card Passport – if foreign it will have a current visa stamp identifying type of non- immigrant status Passport – if foreign it will have a current visa stamp identifying type of non- immigrant status

6 Immigrant vs. Non-Immigrant Immigrant status allows permanent residence in the United States – you can live and work here indefinitely Immigrant status allows permanent residence in the United States – you can live and work here indefinitely Non-immigrant status allows temporary and conditional presence in the United States – you can visit, study, sometimes work but you do not intend to stay permanently Non-immigrant status allows temporary and conditional presence in the United States – you can visit, study, sometimes work but you do not intend to stay permanently

7 Family-Sponsored Immigration Who can petition? Who can petition? US citizens – can petition for spouses, children, parents, siblings US citizens – can petition for spouses, children, parents, siblings LPRs – can petition for spouses and unmarried children LPRs – can petition for spouses and unmarried children Annual ceilings and caps apply limiting the total number of immigrants based on family sponsorship Annual ceilings and caps apply limiting the total number of immigrants based on family sponsorship

8 Other Common Immigrant Statuses Parolees – Individuals granted permission to stay in the US until their status is determined. Parolees – Individuals granted permission to stay in the US until their status is determined. Refugees – Status conferred by UN; recognized by US; capped immigration Refugees – Status conferred by UN; recognized by US; capped immigration Asylees – Individuals fleeing persecution Asylees – Individuals fleeing persecution Cuban/Haitian Entrants Cuban/Haitian Entrants Amerasians Amerasians Victims of Trafficking or Torture Victims of Trafficking or Torture Undocumented Minors in Federal Custody Undocumented Minors in Federal Custody

9 Unaccompanied Alien Children Minors (under the age of 18) who are apprehended attempting to cross the border or already in the U.S. Minors (under the age of 18) who are apprehended attempting to cross the border or already in the U.S. Under certain circumstances they are eligible for services under the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Refugee Resettlement through the Division of Unaccompanied Childrens program (DUCS) Under certain circumstances they are eligible for services under the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Refugee Resettlement through the Division of Unaccompanied Childrens program (DUCS) DUCS shelters are federally run group residences; 39 across the country DUCS shelters are federally run group residences; 39 across the country Stay until disposition of immigration proceedings; sometimes until reunification with family Stay until disposition of immigration proceedings; sometimes until reunification with family

10 Unaccompanied Alien Children Eligibility for ORR services: Eligibility for ORR services: tm tm tm tm

11 Resources Information about Refugees, Asylees, Trafficking Victims and Undocumented Minors in Federal Custody Information about Refugees, Asylees, Trafficking Victims and Undocumented Minors in Federal Custody Refugees/asylees: es.htm Refugees/asylees: es.htm es.htm es.htm Trafficking victims: Trafficking victims: Call: ORR: Call: ORR: Undocumented Minor: Undocumented Minor: Call: ORR: Call: ORR:

12 Undocumented Persons Individuals who have overstayed their visa Individuals who have overstayed their visaOR EWI – Entered Without Inspection – they crossed the border without being stopped by customs officials or border patrol officers EWI – Entered Without Inspection – they crossed the border without being stopped by customs officials or border patrol officers

13 PRUCOL Person Residing Under Color of Law Person Residing Under Color of Law An individual who lacks lawful immigration status An individual who lacks lawful immigration status USCIS is aware of their presence USCIS is aware of their presence USCIS has not made an effort to deport them USCIS has not made an effort to deport them They may be entitled to some public benefits if they can prove their status They may be entitled to some public benefits if they can prove their status Note: This is a VERY grey area of the law; always refer such an individual to qualified immigration experts for assistance and advice Note: This is a VERY grey area of the law; always refer such an individual to qualified immigration experts for assistance and advice

14 Assessing Immigration Status Is not simply a matter of legal vs. illegal Is not simply a matter of legal vs. illegal USCIS is responsible to determine whether someone is here legally or not USCIS is responsible to determine whether someone is here legally or not Status affects access to entitlements, services and benefits Status affects access to entitlements, services and benefits

15 Assessing Immigration Status LPRs, Refugees and asylees – usually know their status and can tell you; they may be involved with an ORR-contracted agency LPRs, Refugees and asylees – usually know their status and can tell you; they may be involved with an ORR-contracted agency Documents – familiarity with what they look like and what to look for Documents – familiarity with what they look like and what to look for Living conditions, work, presence of relatives Living conditions, work, presence of relatives Confidentiality Confidentiality Referral to legal resources Referral to legal resources

16 1996 PRWORA Established restrictions on eligibility of legal immigrants to federally funded programs Established restrictions on eligibility of legal immigrants to federally funded programs Created categories of Qualified Alien and Unqualified Alien Created categories of Qualified Alien and Unqualified Alien Five year bar for legal immigrants access to certain programs (SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, TANF) Five year bar for legal immigrants access to certain programs (SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, TANF) Allowed states broader flexibility in setting public benefit eligibility rules to both federal and state programs Allowed states broader flexibility in setting public benefit eligibility rules to both federal and state programs

17 1996 IIRIRA (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) Established requirement for proof of citizenship for federal benefits Established requirement for proof of citizenship for federal benefits Provided for verification of immigration status Provided for verification of immigration status Allowed denial of entry to those who are deemed potentially a public charge Allowed denial of entry to those who are deemed potentially a public charge Exempted illegal aliens who are DV victims from being denied public benefits Exempted illegal aliens who are DV victims from being denied public benefits Exempted nonprofit organizations from verifying immigration status for eligibility for services Exempted nonprofit organizations from verifying immigration status for eligibility for services

18 1996 AEDPA (Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act) Expedited procedures for removal of those deemed alien terrorists Expedited procedures for removal of those deemed alien terrorists Established procedures to exclude those deemed members of terrorist organizations from entry into the US Established procedures to exclude those deemed members of terrorist organizations from entry into the US Expedited asylum proceedings Expedited asylum proceedings

19 Immigration Status Affects Individuals in Many Ways: It can: Create fear of deportation Create fear of deportation Instill fear of separation from children/spouses Instill fear of separation from children/spouses Subject individuals to job exploitation Subject individuals to job exploitation Allow for substantard or dangerous housing Allow for substantard or dangerous housing Force individuals to stay in abusive relationships Force individuals to stay in abusive relationships Prevent individuals from seeking help when they need it Prevent individuals from seeking help when they need it Prevent individuals from reporting criminal activities Prevent individuals from reporting criminal activities

20 Immigration Status and Children Involved with Child Welfare Foster care: eligible for all services; if undocumented may be eligible for SIJS Foster care: eligible for all services; if undocumented may be eligible for SIJS Adoption: adoption does not automatically change immigration status; must be addressed separately Adoption: adoption does not automatically change immigration status; must be addressed separately Preventive Services: eligible for services that are not federally funded if undocumented Preventive Services: eligible for services that are not federally funded if undocumented Protective Services: eligible for all services regardless of immigration status Protective Services: eligible for all services regardless of immigration status


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