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How does immigrant law relate to children?

Federal and state laws address how Florida handles immigration matters for individuals in a wide range of situations. In some cases, a child might need to be placed in long-term foster care because the parents are not U.S. citizens. Other children might qualify for special immigration status as juveniles for several reasons. For example, a child may be placed in the court's custody, or there may be allegations of abuse. It may also be determined that remaining in the U.S. is in the child's best interest or that the child is eligible for long-term foster care.

After a child has been classified as a dependent, the court representative will determine whether to grant the child U.S. citizenship. Unless a child is specifically excluded from receiving services based on the law, he or she will generally be provided with help.

If the child qualifies for emergency citizenship, the social worker on the case will submit a report to the judge that expresses this finding and the supporting factors. An application will need to be filed to seek citizenship within 60 days of the finding. Even if the child turns 18, the court can continue to oversee the case for the purposes of immigration only.

In some cases, it might not be safe for a juvenile to return back to his or her native country because of extenuating circumstances. An immigration lawyer might help a child who needs to stay in the United States for safety purposes. It is important to note that information provided in this blog may not apply to every situation. For legal advice, persons may want to contact an attorney about individual cases.

Source: Online Sunshine, "PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN", October 13, 2014

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