Nebraska judge to decide immigrant foster care lawsuit

Gavel (MGN)

A judge will decide whether a Nebraska agency is violating state law by denying three teens entry into a foster care transition program based on their immigration status.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the lawsuit against the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services involves three 19-year-olds from Guatemala who are under federal Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

The status means they aren't U.S. citizens but are in foster care after being abused, abandoned or neglected. Courts determined returning the teens to their home country wouldn't be in their best interest. They can apply for green cards, but the process can take years.

The department denied them access into a program that extends foster care services such as medical care until they turn 21.

An attorney for two of the teens says the decision violates Nebraska statutes.

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