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Assembly Member Santiago's "Immigrant Juvenile Justice Act," Clears First Hurdle

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago's (D-Los Angeles) AB 2224, "Immigrant Juvenile Justice Act," passed out of the Assembly Human Services Committee. This legislation will help vulnerable young immigrants access critically needed resources quickly.

Screen capture of Asm. Santiago

"Immigrant children are extremely vulnerable and need access to essential social safety net resources ASAP. AB 2224 is our effort to address this urgently," said Assembly Member Santiago. "This bill extends social services to these folks and combats the backlog by ensuring clarity and expediency in the state's role in the application process."

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provides immigration relief and a possible pathway to lawful permanent residency (LPR) for children and young people who have endured parental abuse and cannot be reunified with their family. Unfortunately, SIJS applicants often face lengthy delays in their application process without access to our social safety net. On average, SIJS applicants wait 263 days to receive a decision on their petition. If approved, they continue to face delays in their LPR application, further exacerbating these folks' instability and vulnerability.

The Immigrant Juvenile Justice Act would correct this injustice by extending social services to SIJS applicants and helps speed up the application process by procedural changes in state courts.

The bill will be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee later in May.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Assistant Assembly Majority Leader. He serves on the Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Tourism Committee, the Health Committee, and the Utilities & Energy Committee. He represents the 54th District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Commerce, Montebello, and Vernon.