Attorney Mooradian presented information to a group of clinical practitioners and community members during Hispanic Heritage Month in Holyoke, MA. The group, comprised largely of Department of Children and Families employees, asked questions ranging from how to advise their immigrant constituents about contact with police to best practices for interviewing and using interpreters.
The presentation focused largely on the legal standard for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and also included information regarding best practices for interviewing immigrant juveniles. Attorney Mooradian stressed the importance of clear and ethical interviewing in order to obtain the predicate order from the probate or juvenile court at the state level. Once an attorney obtains this order, the client can then apply for benefits through USCIS and eventually terminate removal proceedings if then existing. Of course, working with mental health professionals and social workers, as well as agencies such as DCF, can be essential in obtaining a complete and accurate life history of the client, which is then presented to the state court judge for special findings of fact and rulings of law.
Other panelists during the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration included an attorney from DCF, the director of a women's shelter, and a retired professor and director of the Department of Transitional Assistance.