Thousands of minor immigrant children stand to gain visas allowing them to stay in the United States following a California Supreme Court decision last week. The ruling, which overturns a lower court decision, will help children who fled abusive or absentee parents avoid deportation.
Children will no longer have to have uninterested or abusive parents come to court in the United States for their visa cases. The court determined that simply notifying a foreign absentee parent of a child’s immigration court proceedings was sufficient.
At issue was the case of plaintiff Bianka M., who left Honduras as a 10-year-old and arrived alone in the United States in 2013. Bianka’s mother was already living in the United States, and Bianka claimed she could not live in Honduras with her father, who had abandoned her before birth. The lower court was concerned the father’s rights might be violated in giving Bianka’s mother sole custody despite her father being “an unwilling foreign resident,” according to Bianka’s attorneys. The ruling has repercussions for thousands of other children in California who fled Mexico and other Latin American countries. —R.H.
Which regional winner in the 2018 Hope Awards for Effective Compassion deserves the $10,000 grand prize? That’s up to you. Vote for the poverty-fighting ministry that moves you the most. —Mickey McLean