Legislative Bill 826 (which later became an amendment to Legislative Bill 670) was introduced by Senator Tony Vargas on January 4, 2018. Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB 670 into law on April 23, 2018. This Practice Advisory, Seeking Predicate Findings in Nebraska for Special Immigrant Juveniles, is intended to provide lawyers with information on the legislative history of the bill, general tips, and best practices. The content was developed through a partnership with Immigrant Legal Center, Creighton University School of Law, and University of Nebraska College of Law.
LB 670 ensures that vulnerable youth in Nebraska can continue to access the relief for which they are eligible for and that is in their best interest.
This amendment clarifies and reaffirms that Nebraska State courts who are tasked with making determinations regarding the custody and care of juveniles have the jurisdiction and authority to make factual findings related to (1) whether a child has been abused, abandoned, or neglected, (2) whether parental reunification is viable, and (3) whether it would be in the child’s best interest to be removed to his or her country of nationality.
Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is an option for eligible youth in the United States who cannot be reunited with one or both parents because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
The amendment was needed because some Nebraska State courts had refused to make these factual findings, which is a necessary first step for eligible youth to seek SIJ relief. This bill reaffirms that it a requirement for all Nebraska State courts to make such factual findings.
- Nebraska SIJ Practice Advisory (LB 670)
- LB 826 Testimony by Charles Shane Ellison
- Judiciary Testimony
- Amended ILC AmicusBrief – Carlos Ortiz
- Nebraska Supreme Court Report in RE Guardianship of Luis J.
- Nebraska Supreme Court Report in RE Guardianship of Carlos D.
- Amicus Brief of UNL Clinical Law Program and Nebraska Appleseed