Matter of Fernandez

Family Law

New York Law Journal


Judge Jack Weinstein

Attorney for the child, Braverman, sought to reargue a ruling which denied her motion seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for the child, Emmanuel. Braverman contended the court erred in denying Emmanuel's application for SIJS findings based upon the death of his father. She now sought SIJS findings based on the abandonment of the child by his father. The court stated both arguments missed "the crux of the issue. Can a child be "reunified" with a parent he has never met?" It found Emmanuel only had one parent, his mother, thus could not be "reunified" with a parent he never met, his father. The court noted aside from a few days Emmanuel was removed from his mother's care, he never left her custody, hence, he could not satisfy the statutory findings to seek SIJS because reunification was not an issue. The court disagreed with the Queens Family Court holding in Matter of Mario S. regarding the analysis of the meaning of the phrase "one or both parents" in the statute. Therefore, the court denied Braverman's motion for a hearing on this issue concluding Emmanuel was not a child whose circumstances satisfied the criteria in the SIJS statute under 8 USC §1101(a)(27)(J).

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