Name of Host Organization: Volunteers of Legal Service
City, State: New York, New York
Issue area: Children/Youth, Education, Immigrant Populations
Sponsors: MetLife, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Molly provided direct representation and legal education to abused, abandoned, and neglected undocumented youth and their caregivers in proceedings before the New York City Family Court and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Need Addressed By Project
This project was a special opportunity to proactively identify, counsel, and represent some of the tens of thousands of undocumented students in New York. Due to their undocumented status, many talented immigrant students forego higher education, become victims of workplace abuse, and fall prey to immigration consultant fraud. A unique visa called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provides lawful permanent residence and a pathway to citizenship, for vulnerable young people. SIJS has been underutilized due to misinformation and fear of court involvement, meaning that many eligible students miss out on educational and employment opportunities – a huge loss for our society and economy.