Judge John Hunt

Mario S. was previously adjudicated a juvenile delinquent. He now requested an order finding him eligible for “special immigrant juvenile” (SIJ) status. The court noted Mario was an unmarried person under 21 and dependent on the Family Court by virtue of the juvenile delinquency proceeding, which resulted in his placement in state custody. It also concluded that reunification with at least one of Mario’s parents was not viable due to abuse, neglect or abandonment, noting he has had virtually no relationship with his father, and with whom he has had no contact since the father’s deportation to Mexico in 2008 after a domestic violence incident with a girlfriend. The court noted this motion was filed when Mario was still subject to a placement order issued by this court. It also noted Mario’s reunification with his mother, with whom he has resided since expiration of the period of placement, was tenuous given her uncertain immigration status. Thus, the court ruled it would not be in Mario’s best interest to be returned to Mexico, granting the motion for findings necessary to enable him to make an application for an adjustment of his status as a ‘special immigrant juvenile.’