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AILA InfoNet


This practice advisory will discuss recent developments in legal relief for unaccompanied alien children brought about by the enactment of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-457; “TVPRA”) on December 23, 2008. In addition to expanding protections for trafficking victims generally, the TVPRA made procedural and substantive changes to immigration legal relief for unaccompanied alien children. Specifically, section 235 of the TVPRA increased many protections for unaccompanied alien children seeking relief from removal, including Special Immigrant Juvenile status and asylum. This section of the TVPRA also provides more child-sensitive procedures for those in immigration custody and at imminent risk of removal. The following is a practice advisory regarding some of these significant developments for unaccompanied alien children created by the TVPRA.

While this advisory’s focus is on the expansion in legal relief options for unaccompanied alien children, it is strongly encouraged that legal advocates carefully review the TVPRA in order to understand the full scope of changes this new law provides. Some of these changes are not directly related to legal relief or unaccompanied alien children, however, and will therefore not be addressed in this practice advisory.

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American Immigration Lawyers Association


AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09021830

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