J.L. v. Cissna
Defending the Right to SIJS in California
J.L. v. Cissna, et al, is a class action challenging an unlawful Trump Administration policy that sought to deny humanitarian relief to hundreds of immigrant children in California. The policy aimed to bar a class of petitioners in California, aged 18–20, from being granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) despite California state courts having determined these young people were eligible for this humanitarian relief based on past parental abuse, abandonment or neglect.
Plaintiffs allege that in early 2018, the federal government began to unlawfully deny class members’ petitions for relief by refusing to recognize the authority of some California juvenile courts, a change that was implemented without any notice or any public announcement. The suit was filed in August 2018 by Public Counsel; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR).
In October 2019, plaintiffs and defendants signed a settlement agreement that secured the rights of 2,800 immigrant youth in California and forced the Government to retract its harmful nationwide policy.