What is the Goal of S-4185 and A-6377?

This bill addresses the problems encountered when immigration enforcement and the child welfare system intersects. S 4185 and A-6377 prioritizes keeping children with their families ...

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Why is S-4185 and A-6377 necessary?

Enforcement activities conducted by ICE and some law enforcement agencies too often result in unnecessary harm to children, families and communities. When a parent has a child ...

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What’s the bottom line?

While many detained parents will not have their children entered the foster care system, there is an increased risk of unnecessary and expensive foster care involvement due to the lack of attention to this issue. Child welfare ...

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What are the basic components of S-4185 and A-6377?

(1) Authorize the court to provide an extension in the family reunification period so that child welfare agencies can provide a more diligent search for parents who may be detained or deported, or help find a potential relative placement.

(2) Affirm that immigration status per se is not a disqualifying factor in evaluating placement of a child with a relative (including their own parent). Authorize use of a relative’s foreign consulate identification card or passport to be used to initiate fingerprint clearance so that a relative can be a placement for their relative child in the foster care system.

(3) Require the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to provide guidance to social workers on referring children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and other immigration relief options to receive assistance in acquiring protective status. Case workers and court staff are sometimes the first and only person an immigrant child or family encounters who may be able to identify their eligibility for certain immigration relief options.

(4) Require OCFS to provide guidance to counties and municipalities to establish Memorandums of Understandings with appropriate foreign consulates in child custody cases. Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations clearly states that consular officers have the right to assist their nationals in cases of death, guardianship or trusteeships and that consular post shall be informed without delay. However, there is inconsistent and under-utilization of the consular offices.

(5) Provide OCFS identification cards for foster youth upon request which includes their court docket number and the child welfare agency contact.

(6) Establish a virtual statewide information system, with live help case consultation to assist court and child welfare staff on cases, utilizing existing organizations and agencies with expertise in working on immigration issues.