Katy and Jackie needed help applying for critical immigration relief.

The pro bono team met Katy and Jackie, who are sisters, while assisting their mother, Diana, with her own immigration case. When the team discovered that the girls were eligible for immigration relief, known as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), they quickly stepped in to work with Katy and Jackie. SIJS will allow the girls to remain in the U.S. with their family and in a safe environment.

SIJS is available to children who have been abandoned, abused, or neglected by at least one of their parents 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. The girls’ family completed their state court process and await their first federal approval (the second phase).

Congratulations to Katy, Jackie, and their family on achieving this critical milestone! Amica Center is so grateful to Paul Hastings and pro bono attorneys Sam Pickett, Laurel Sutherland, Matt Herrington, Colby Moore, and Gary Zanfagna for their dedication and commitment.

We would also like to recognize the attorneys who worked alongside Katy and Jackie’s grandfather, Sylvester, in his fight for asylum. Due to his advanced dementia, his daughter, Diana, was instrumental in caring for him while helping him navigate his immigration case. As a result, Diana, Sylvester, and Amica Center’s attorneys worked together, and Sylvester was finally granted asylum!