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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 14 : Decedents Estates and Fiduciary Relations

Chapter 111 : GUARDIANSHIP

Subchapter 014 : Special Immigration Status

(Cite as: 14 V.S.A. § 3098)
  • § 3098. Special immigration juvenile status; jurisdiction and findings

    (a) The court has jurisdiction under Vermont law to make judicial determinations regarding the custody and care of children within the meaning of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J) and 8 C.F.R. § 204.11). The court is authorized to make the findings necessary to enable a child to petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for classification as a special immigrant juvenile pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J).

    (b)(1) If an order is requested from the court making the necessary findings regarding special immigrant juvenile status as described in subsection (a) of this section, the court shall issue an order if there is evidence to support those findings, which may include a declaration by the child who is the subject of the petition. The order issued by the court shall include all of the following findings:

    (A) The child was either of the following:

    (i) Declared a dependent of the court.

    (ii) Legally committed to or placed under the custody of a State agency or department or an individual or entity appointed by the court. The court shall indicate the date on which the dependency, commitment, or custody was ordered.

    (B) That reunification of the child with one or both of the child's parents was determined not to be viable because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis pursuant to Vermont law. The court shall indicate the date on which reunification was determined not to be viable.

    (C) That it is not in the best interests of the child to be returned to the child's or his or her parent's previous country of nationality or country of last habitual residence.

    (2) If requested by a party, the court may make additional findings that are supported by evidence.

    (c) In any judicial proceedings in response to a request that the court make the findings necessary to support a petition for classification as a special immigrant juvenile, information regarding the child's immigration status that is not otherwise protected by State laws shall remain confidential. This information shall also be exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall be kept confidential, except that the information shall be available for inspection by the court, the child who is the subject of the proceeding, the parties, the attorneys for the parties, the child's counsel, and the child's guardian.

    (d) As used in this section, "court" means the Probate Division and the Family Division of the Superior Court. (Added 2019, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. October 7, 2020.)