Resources on Unaccompanied Children

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Legal Opinion re: EOIR’s Authority to Interpret the Term Unaccompanied Alien Child for Purposes of Applying Certain Provisions of TVPRA

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This practice advisory is intended to educate advocates on important unaccompanied child protections and assist them with starting-point strategies for combating Department of Homeland Security efforts to strip vulnerable children of protections afforded to them as unaccompanied children.

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Considering sponsoring a child out of federal immigration custody? This fact sheet gives some information about the risks of this process and where to find more resources.

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IMPORTANT LEGAL UPDATE: On July 1, 2019, CLINIC and other partners brought a lawsuit challenging the legality of this memo, and as a result, a federal district judge has issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting USCIS from applying this memo while the lawsuit is ongoing. JOP v. DHS, No. 19-1944 (D. Md.). For more information about that lawsuit, see CLINIC's JOP v.

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On October 16, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision holding that an immigration judge (IJ) has initial jurisdiction over an asylum application filed by a respondent previously determined to be an “unaccompanied alien child” who turns 18 before filing the asylum application, in Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018).

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On December 20, 2017, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued Operating Polices and Procedures Memorandum (OPPM) 17-03: Guidelines for Immigration Court Cases Involving Juveniles, Including Unaccompanied Alien Children. This OPPM rescinds and replaces OPPM 07-01, Guidelines for Immigration Court Cases Involving Unaccompanied Alien Children, which had been in effect since May 22, 2007.

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In September 2017, an Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) memorandum was circulated on various listservs. The memo is dated September 19, 2017 and is addressed to James R. McHenry III, the acting director of EOIR, from Jean King, General Counsel.