Senate passes Quezada bill that expands definition of ‘child’ for special immigrant status
STATE HOUSE — The Senate has passed legislation introduced by Sen. Ana B. Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence) that would expand protections for certain immigrant children below the age of 21.
The legislation (2018-S 2429Aaa) would expand jurisdiction of the Rhode Island Family Court related to custody or guardianship of immigrant children to include immigrant persons between 18 and 21 years of age for purposes of abuse and neglect determinations in accordance with federal law.
“Children who are the victims of parental abuse have a unique form of suffering,” said Senator Quezada. “When you factor in the fact that these children are immigrants, their suffering multiplies. Being a stranger in a strange land — often with a language barrier — at the age of 18 is more than anybody could be reasonably expected to handle. This legislation will clarify the law to extend those protections to immigrant children up to the age of 21.”
Federal immigration law provides “special juvenile immigrant” status to children who are the victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment, as well as those who are in the custody of a state agency; but that law leaves it up to the state courts and state law to make the determination.
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903