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ORR announces Community Safety Initiative to review unaccompanied minor policies

  1. Original Date Announced

    August 16, 2017

    In a memo obtained through litigation in Saravia v. Sessions (3:17-cv-03615-VC ( N.D. Cal. )) from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to the Domestic Policy Council, ORR announces a Community Safety Initiative intended to prevent gang members from entering the country as Unaccompanied Alien Minors. As part of the initiative, ORR is instituting a comprehensive review of program policies and procedures. At the time of announcement, the initiative had already led to several policy changes, including notifying local law enforcement of release from secure detention facilities and adding gang prevention services to detention.


    ORR Information Memo: Community Safety Initiative for the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program
  2. Effective Date

    August 16, 2017
  4. Biden Administration Action: Modified

    March 18, 2021

    USCIS Policy Alert_SIJ Classification and Saravia v. Barr

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 18, 2021, pursuant to the settlement agreement in Saravia v. Barr, USCIS updated its policy manual to incorporate changes. Specifically:

    • USCIS will not refuse its consent to a request for SIJ classification based in whole or in part on the fact that the state court did not consider or sufficiently consider evidence of the petitioner’s gang affiliation when deciding whether to issue a predicate order or in making its determination that it was not in the best interest of the child to return to his or her home country.
    • USCIS will not use its consent authority to reweigh the evidence that the juvenile court considered when it issued the predicate order.
    • USCIS will not revoke a petition for SIJ classification based in whole or in part on the fact that the state court’s best interest determination was not made with consideration of the petitioner’s gang affiliation.
    View Document

Current Status

Partially in effect

Most Recent Action

March 18, 2021 Action: Modified USCIS Policy Alert_SIJ Classification and Saravia v. Barr
March 18, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Minors Interior
Agencies Affected: ORR ICE DOJ State & Local Entities

Pre Trump-Era Policies

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