In its second decision on cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Tennessee judges may appoint a parent as the guardian of a minor child, which allows single parents to protect their children from abuse, abandonment, or neglect by the other parent.
Prior to this decision, many Tennessee judges refused to have hearings on guardianship petitions filed by a parent of a minor, and instead automatically dismissed the petitions. The guardianship is the first step in the process for our clients to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status; therefore, the actions of these judges prevented many children from fighting against their deportations and obtaining the lawful immigration status for which they are eligible.
Because of this decision by the Tennessee Court of Appeals, judges throughout Tennessee now have clear guidance on the law concerning Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and they can no longer simply dismiss guardianship petitions properly filed with their courts.
MIA is thrilled we could be a part of this decision, which will ensure that kids throughout Tennessee have equal access to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.