Julio was sent to the U.S. to avoid domestic abuse.

Julio was born in El Salvador. His mother left when he was a baby, and Julio spent his early childhood with his father, who was mean and abusive. In Julio’s words, the abuse was “constant.” Other relatives who tried to protect Julio from his father could not.

They grew increasingly concerned for his safety, so they sent him to live with his uncle in the United States.

Amica Center met Julio while he was waiting to be released from detention into his uncle’s care. We referred his case to Alexandra Dunn and Elie Kommel at Baker Botts.

With his attorneys’ assistance, Julio and his uncle chose to pursue Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for Julio. SIJS is available to children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected and when it is not in their best interests to return to the country they came from.

By design, SIJS happens in three phases: the first at a state family court and the second and third phases at a federal government immigration agency.

Julio and his uncle had recently completed the state court process, where the court awarded sole custody of Julio to his uncle. Julio and his legal team are now moving forward with his first federal immigration application.

We are thrilled that Julio has achieved this critical milestone, which puts him firmly on the path to permanent immigration status. It also allows him to live safely with his uncle, aunt, and their three children, Julio’s cousins.

In addition to providing diligent and trauma-informed representation to Julio, the Baker Botts teams managed to overcome many other obstacles along the way. We are so grateful for their efforts and for Julio’s progress in his immigration journey.