Pro Bono Client in Successful Application for Permanent Residency

June 26, 2006

Cleary Gottlieb has successfully represented C.T. in her application for permanent residency in the United States as a Special Immigrant Juvenile.

C.T. was born in St. Lucia and came to the United States in 1999 to live with her mother and older sister. Soon after C.T. arrived, her mother began to date a man and he moved in with the family. C.T.’s mother’s boyfriend was abusive towards her mother and tried to rape both C.T and her sister. C.T. ran away from home when she realized that her mother could not protect her. C.T. lived in a shelter for several days until she told one of her friends at school what happened. Her friend took C.T. home with her and the friend’s mother filed for guardianship of C.T.

C.T.’s particular circumstances made her eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) category, specifically carved out by Congress for minors under the age of 21 determined to be dependent on the family court and eligible for long-term foster care where it is not in the children’s best interest to return to their country of nationality. After some bureaucratic delays and extended correspondence with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, C.T. was interviewed by an adjudications officer and later approved for the SIJ status and granted permanent residency in the United States.

C.T. is currently a pre-med student at City College and helps pay for it herself with wages from a part-time job.