Collaborative Effort Leads to Legal Status for Undocumented Minor

Ana came to our Erie Neighborhood House (ENH) Clinic in early 2023 to find a pathway to citizenship for her 17-year-old daughter. After her intake interview, it became apparent that Ana’s daughter qualified for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) based on her father’s abandonment. Given that her 18th birthday was quickly approaching, it was necessary to file as soon as possible.

Obtaining SIJS is a two-step process. First, Ana had to obtain a state court order giving her custody of her daughter. That order had to include findings related to the father’s abandonment of the minor child. Rebekah Rashidfarokhi, our Director of Guardianship and Immigration Programs for Children, represented Ana in her family law case. She was able to obtain a valid custody order just days before the child turned 18.

Once Rebekah received the state court order, she sent that over to our in-house Immigration Staff Attorney, Massiel Tarango. Massiel represented Ana in her submission of an application for SIJS. Just days ago, the SIJS application was approved. This is just one example of how two attorneys from differing practice areas can work together to provide comprehensive and holistic services. Nice work, Rebekah and Massiel!

Rebekah Rashidfarokhi, Director, Guardianship & Immigration Programs for Children
Rebekah Rashidfarokhi, Director, Guardianship & Immigration Programs for Children
Massiel Tarango, Immigration Staff Attorney
Massiel Tarango, Immigration Staff Attorney
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