Immigrant Legal Center
An Affiliate of the Justice
For Our Neighbors Network
4223 Center Street
Omaha, NE 68105

402.898.1349 |

An Affiliate of the Justice For Our Neighbors Network


Nebraska Supreme Court Issues Precedent Decisions in Support of SIJ Relief

Advocacy Media Release | July 27, 2018


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Contact: Magdalena Cazarez, Communications and Development Assistant



Omaha, NE – The Immigrant Legal Center applauds the Nebraska Supreme Court’s twin precedent decisions issued today reaffirming that eligible abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant youth in Nebraska are entitled to obtain the state court orders needed to pursue Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status.

SIJ status can be granted by immigration authorities after a state court has made certain findings related to whether parental reunification is viable due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect; and whether it is in the child’s best interest to be returned to his or her country.  SIJ can lead to permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.

“Today’s rulings represent a major advance in the rights of vulnerable immigrant youth in Nebraska,” said ILC Legal Director, Charles Shane Ellison.  In both cases, the Nebraska Supreme Court utilized a recent legislative victory (the passage of LB 670) to reverse the lower courts, who had refused to issue the orders needed to pursue relief with immigration authorities.

ILC Rural Capacity Building Supervising Attorney, Roxana Cortes, represented one of the clients in today’s cases.  She said, “This decision is more than a victory for one of our clients, this decision shows that equality and justice for all under our laws includes immigrant children in Nebraska.”