State Supreme Court Rules Citizen Status Irrelevant in Child Dependency Cases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court says judges can't dismiss immigrant children's petitions for dependency simply because they think they're seeking the status to secure permanent residency.

Thursday's ruling involves a Guatemalan boy who immigrated to Florida when he was 13 after his parents abandoned him, and his grandparents grew too old to care for him. His godmother has cared for him at her Miami home, but she is not a legal guardian.

A lower court judge denied the petition for dependency because he thought the motivation behind it was to seek legal residency status.

The Supreme Court ruled that doesn't matter, and that dependency has to be determined independent of immigration status.

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