Helping Vulnerable Minor Children Remain Protected In The United States

Minor children are legally vulnerable. Many find that their status to remain in the United States is uncertain, and fear facing removal. Likewise, because a great number of children enter the country without a parent or legal guardian, they often have difficulty seeking out — or knowing when to seek out — the right legal help they desperately need.

This is why Access To Law Foundation is committed to offering counsel and representation to minor children throughout Georgia and the Southeast. Children, and minor immigrants in particular, have no legal voice; the lawyers at our Foundation are able to speak for and protect the vulnerable. Executive Director Rebeca E. Salmon has dedicated a great deal of her career to helping minor children. She is an active member of the Immigrant Children's Legal Network and is recognized as a Child Welfare Law Specialist — a designation reserved for only a few thousand attorneys nationwide.

Based in Norcross, and available by appointment in Moultrie, our lawyers can help children secure the legal status they need to remain protected in the United States, and offer aggressive legal representation when children are placed in removal proceedings.

When Removing A Child From The U.S. Is Inappropriate

In certain situations, the United States recognizes that removing a child from the U.S. is inappropriate. The government, through an Executive Order, has acknowledged with DACA, for example, that minor children who enter the country at an early age, perform well in school and know no other home ought to be permitted to stay. Likewise, the government offers some protection to children who fled their homes and entered the U.S. alone to avoid abuse, violence or neglect. (An important note: in Georgia, a minor is anyone age 18 or younger; in Alabama and certain other jurisdictions, it is a child 19 or younger.)

Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult for juveniles to obtain legal standing without the help of a qualified attorney. Doing so oftentimes involves the complicated intersection of state and federal law. This is where Access To Law Foundation can assist. Our lawyers offer representation to juveniles in a full range of immigration-related matters including:

  • Unaccompanied minors (UACs) — Recognizing that children who enter the country without an adult are especially at risk, the U.S. allows them an affirmative path to petition for asylum. In some cases, the government will help children in need find appropriate housing and other accommodations through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) — Children who have suffered abuse, abandonment or neglect, or who may otherwise be unable to reunite with their parents or return to their homeland, are eligible to petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). This relief allows individuals to live, study and work in the United States with legal permanent residency and eventually apply for naturalization.
  • DACA — Adopted in 2012, the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy allows many undocumented children who entered the country as minors to petition for temporary permission to live, study and work. Specifically, eligible petitioners can seek to obtain temporary status for a period of two years, which is subject to renewal.

Beware Notarios

A successful petition hinges on finding qualified legal representation. Notarios, who claim they can help undocumented immigrants secure legal status, are not licensed legal professionals and often damage an applicant's chances of remaining in the United States.

Contact Us When You Need Help

To learn more about our services, reach out to our Foundation. You can call us at 770-729-4753 or contact us online. We're here to answer your questions and address your concerns.