Unaccompanied Children's Program

MIRC represents all unaccompanied children who come to Michigan in federal immigration custody. We also represent children who have been released from custody and other children who may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Our unaccompanied children's team has represented every child brought to Michigan in federal immigration custody after being unlawfully separated from family at the border.

The Unaccompanied Children's Program is hiring attorney and non-attorney positions- check out the job postings here.

Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors

In April 2021, MIRC formed a subpractice of our unaccompanied children’s team focused on providing legal services for children who were in federal immigration custody, released to a sponsor in Michigan, and under 18 at the time we begin representation. The team represents the child in all of their immigration matters, and in particular, specializes in obtaining predicate orders in state courts for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Classification. As of August 2023, MIRC’s released subpractice has successfully obtained over 150 predicate orders in family court actions such as guardianship, paternity, and child custody in 18 counties across Michigan. In a monumental victory for our client (and future clients), our released subpractice created precedential SIJ-specific Michigan case law through a favorable appellate court judgment.

The released subpractice provides state court assistance to non-MIRC attorneys on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in discussing your case with a MIRC attorney, please fill out this form and we will get back to you within one week. We cannot guarantee that we can consult on every request.


  • If you need help navigating the court system in a specific geographic area, MIRC has assisted children released to sponsors in the following counties:
    • Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Missaukee, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Oceana, Ottawa, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne
  • “What Family Court Practitioners Should Know About Special Immigrant Juveniles,” Article in Michigan Family Law Journal co-authored by MIRC staff, Part One and Part Two
  • For SIJ-specific Michigan case law, see:
    • Michigan Court of Appeals decision In re VELASQUEZ, argued by MIRC released subpractice attorneys.
    • Michigan Court of Appeals decision In re LFOC, argued by MIRC attorneys.
  • For a summary of SIJ in Michigan state courts, see section 4.12 of the Child Protective Proceedings Benchbook.
  • For basic information about Michigan family court proceedings involving SIJ, please see these documents compiled by our released subpractice attorneys based on their experiences in state court. Please note that these are general guides and the advice provided may not apply to every court.