On February 21, 2018, Senate Bill 1308, which includes an amendment that would prevent the Florence Project and other private attorneys from filing cases in juvenile court, will be heard in the Arizona State Senate. If it is signed into law, our clients will no longer be able to ask for protection in state courts, including orders that open a pathway to permanent residency called Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
Please contact your state legislators and ask that they oppose SB 1038. You can find the name and contact information for your legislator here.
Cecilio, a former Florence Project client who won his SIJS case
If SB 1308 passes, clients like Cecilio will no longer be able to access SIJS. Cecilio grew up in San Sebastián, Guatemala. Throughout his childhood, he endured physical and psychological abuse at the hands of his father. Finally, Cecilio escaped and fled to the United States seeking safety. Florence Project attorneys applied for SIJS for Cecilio. After nearly two years, he won his case and now has a green card.
If this bill becomes law, many clients like Cecilio, who need protection and face severe harm in their countries of origin, won’t be able to pursue SIJS in Arizona. Many will be deported back to the unsafe conditions they fled from.
Please call your state legislators today and urge them to oppose SB 1308 so we can continue advocating in juvenile court on behalf of the vulnerable children that we serve. A sample email is below.
I am writing/calling to urge you to oppose SB 1308. This bill will negatively impact immigrant children by restricting their attorneys and sponsors from advocating on their behalf for educational needs, medical appointments, and even pathways to legal permanent residency. Please stand with children seeking a better, safer life in the United States and oppose SB 1308.
Thank you for your support!