Advocates Say Tenn. Child Services Fails To Help Immigrants

Several undocumented children and their advocates have accused the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services of failing to help them pursue legal status, saying the agency allows vulnerable children in its care to age out of a special pathway to citizenship.

Three children in DCS custody and the group Advocates for Immigrant Rights sued the agency’s commissioner, Margie Quin, in a Tennessee federal court on Monday. They allege DCS lacks any system for identifying abused or abandoned minors who are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. As a result, the agency regularly fails to provide immigration services to initiate the process before a state-mandated age cutoff of 18, according to the complaint.

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