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New Mexico law allows migrant children under 21 to obtain residency

New Mexico flag (KFOX14/CBS4)
New Mexico flag (KFOX14/CBS4)
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed into law House Bill 15, which allows young immigrants to stay in New Mexico if returning to their home country is not safe.

House Bill 15 establishes a Special Immigrant Juvenile classification, which would allow immigrant children under the age of 21 to seek lawful permanent residence in New Mexico if they are abused, neglected, abandoned, cannot be viably reunified with their parents, or it is not in their best interest to be returned to their country of nationality.

“This bill becoming law means that children who come to our state cannot be forced back into harm’s way. We are committed to making New Mexico a safe place for kids to grow up, no matter where they come from,” said lead bill sponsor Democrat Rep. Andrea Romero.

The legislation was also sponsored by Sens. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Linda Lopez , and Reps. Yanira Gurrola and Eleanor Chávez.

This law is effective immediately and can also be applied retroactively.

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