New Orleans

November 5, 2020

FormanWatkins Lawyers Win Permanent Status for Pro Bono Immigration Client

New Orleans attorneys Tim Gray, Michelle Roy, Margaret McLaughlin, and Jordan Nixon recently prevailed in an appeal of a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Order denying Special Juvenile Immigrant Status to a minor child, originally from Guatemala. The effect of the win is that the child is now entitled to apply for and receive permanent resident status.

This win follows wins on behalf of her two sisters, also FormanWatkins Pro Bono clients, who prevailed in their asylum claims.

The representation of these three sisters began in 2017, when Tim Gray and Michelle Roy accepted representation of the sisters through Catholic Charities’ Pro Bono and Juveniles program (“PB&J”). For the oldest two sisters, Tim and Michelle applied for asylum. Both sisters prevailed in their claims and they have now received their green cards establishing their permanent legal resident status in the United States.

For the youngest sister, Tim and Michelle enrolled the help of Margaret McLaughlin and Jordan Nixon to obtain permanent legal resident status via Special Immigrant Juvenile status (SIJ). SIJ requires both an order from a State Court Judge, finding that certain predicate facts have been met, and a second determination by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the child is otherwise eligible for SIJ status. After obtaining the predicate state court order, USCIS denied the application; however, Margaret McLaughlin and Michelle Roy submitted briefing appealing that decision. The appeal was successful and the youngest sister was granted SIJ status. Jordan Nixon has now filed an application for permanent status on her behalf, which we expect to be granted.