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Ethical Advocacy for Immigrant Survivors of Family Crisis

50 Fam. Ct. Rev. 650 (October 2012)

Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-27

12 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012  

Theodor S. Liebmann

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law

Date Written: November 30, 2012

Abstract

The involvement of family courts in the lives of youth and families creates significant opportunities for advocates to assist their clients with immigration-related issues. Informed and effective advocacy on these issues in family court can make lifechanging, and even life-saving, differences for immigrants. More specifically, immigration issues are germane to family court because certain vital avenues of immigration relief available to survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other forms of family crisis explicitly depend on findings, orders, and certifications that are issued in the context of family court proceedings. After describing these forms of relief, and the family court’s role in immigrants’ access to them, this essay analyzes how ethical mandates related to client counseling, representational goals, and competence affirmatively require family court practitioners to provide advice and advocacy related to these collateral benefits to family court proceedings.

Key Points for Family Court Community:

• The involvement of family courts in the lives of youth and families creates significant opportunities for advocates to assist their clients with immigration-related issues

• Certain vital avenues of immigration relief available to survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and other forms of family crisis explicitly depend on findings, orders, and certifications that are issued in the context of family court proceedings

• The substance of immigration-related findings in family court, and their ultimate affect on family stability, are consistent with the core family court goal of supporting safety, well-being, and permanency for children and families

• Ethical mandates related to client counseling, representational goals, and competence affirmatively require family court practitioners to provide advice and advocacy related to these collateral benefits to family court proceedings

Keywords: Ethical Mandates, Family Courts, Immigration, Immigrant Survivors, and Special Immigrant Youth

Suggested Citation

Liebmann, Theodor S., Ethical Advocacy for Immigrant Survivors of Family Crisis (November 30, 2012). 50 Fam. Ct. Rev. 650 (October 2012); Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2183338

Theodor S. Liebmann (Contact Author)

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

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