Feds give two immigrant children in Connecticut a year’s reprieve

Two immigrant children who were reunited with their parents in Connecticut after being separated at the U.S.-Mexico border have been granted temporary legal immigration status, the youths’ attorneys said Thursday.

The federal government granted the nine-year-old Honduran boy identified as J.S.R., and a 14-year-old Salvadoran girl, a year of humanitarian parole. The children’s parents received six months of parole in mid-July.

Attorneys representing the two children at Connecticut Legal Services and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School filed the federal lawsuits on behalf of the children on July 2. The families were reunited in Connecticut after a quick, two-week court battle and are now living in New Haven.

Connecticut Legal Services Deputy Director Josh Perry said the children will not litigate their immigration cases during the next year.

“They will still have the opportunity to litigate their cases and seek relief in the immigration courts and we will continue to represent them,” Perry said. “They are out of immediate danger, but the long-term ability and safety and healing they need requires further relief from the immigration court.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The youth were among more than 2,000 children who were separated from their parents by immigration officials at the border this spring. The Trump administration later reversed its “zero tolerance” immigration policy amid widespread backlash.

In the Connecticut case, the complaint states J.S.R. and his father were detained together at the border in June before the boy was separated from his father while he was sleeping.

The other lawsuit, regarding the girl known as V.F.B., states that officials separated her from her mother at a detention facility in Texas “on the pretext of taking her to bathe.”