Gulfcoast Legal Services Children’s Immigration Legal Defense 

          GLS CHILD

GLS CHILD provides specialized legal services, education and advocacy on behalf of immigrant children in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

We represent children applying for:

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) - Where the child is a victim of abuse, abandonment or neglect and it is not in the child’s best interest to return to their native country
U-Visa - Where the child is a victim of a serious crime
VAWA Self Petitions Act or similar immigration help
Removal Defense in proceedings before an immigration judge

GLS CHILD welcomes case referrals from the Department of Children and Families, the Guardian Ad Litem Program, schools, mental health and medical service providers, the courts, law enforcement, and anyone who cares for or is involved in the child’s life.


                 Client Stories

Sabrina’s* mother passed away when she was just 2 years old.  No one knew who her father was.  She became a servant to a family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and endured years of hard labor, beatings, and neglect.  She would pray at night to join her mother in heaven.  When Sabrina was 17 she managed to escape to the United States.  She was put in immigration detention when she arrived.  GLS CHILD was able to obtain special immigrant juvenile status for her due to the abuse she suffered in Haiti.  Today Sabrina is a legal permanent resident of the United States.

Carlos* came to the United States with his parents. Carlos’s father was abusive to his mother.  One night in a fit of rage Carlos’s father took his wife’s life.  Carlos’s father is currently in jail.  Thankfully, Carlos had a relative that was willing to become his permanent guardian.  GLS CHILD is seeking to obtain U-Nonimmigrant status for Carlos as the victim of the crime of his mother’s murder.  His caregiver may also be eligible for immigration relief as his court ordered guardian.

GLS CHILD also offers the following services:

• In-service training and technical assistance for law enforcement, community based organizations and attorneys on immigration benefits for children;

• Evaluation and  assistance with the legal needs and alternative remedies available for a child (and his/her family members). 


Every year thousands of children escaping political persecution, war, abusive families or other dangerous conditions in their home countries endure harrowing journeys alone and across international borders seeking a safe haven in the United States.  Some children enter with their families only to be  abused or abandoned by their parents, finding themselves alone without immigration status.  Many of them meet conditions that would allow them to remain in the United States.  GLS CHILD is committed to assisting these children.





If you are able to help with a donation to support GLS in its effort to help

 immigrant children please push the DONATE NOW button.