SACRAMENTO, Aug. 16, 2018 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today helped secure a victory in the California Supreme Court in Bianka M. v. Superior Court. The lawsuit involved the procedures that children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by a parent must go through to become eligible to apply for “Special Immigrant Juvenile” visas. This visa enables the children to apply for permanent residency in the United States. Today’s ruling removes a significant hurdle for many of those seeking to obtain that status.
“We should do everything in our power to help children who have suffered abuse and neglect remain here in the United States,” said Attorney General Becerra. “I urge California courts to quickly process these children’s requests so that they may apply to the federal government. It is my hope that the federal government will open its heart to these most vulnerable newcomers.”
In April 2017, the Attorney General filed an amicus brief in the California Supreme Court in Bianka M., arguing that minors who are living with one parent in the United States should be allowed to seek an order in state family court necessary to obtain “Special Immigrant Juvenile” status without having to join the absent parent—who allegedly abused, abandoned, or neglected them—as a party to the proceeding. In June 2018, Attorney General Becerra’s team participated in oral arguments as a friend-of-the-court in this case.