What is a Temporary Guardianship and Who Can Apply for It?
ARIZANNA JONES, PRESENTER: A lot of people in the United States have trouble accessing some of the services that they need, and that’s the crux of the story that I want to tell today.
For the past several years, thousands of undocumented immigrants have been waiting to file their guardianship papers with the courts, and for the first time, in a state that is known for its high levels of undocumented immigration, the waiting is over.
But it’s still a long, long way from the promised reforms that were made in 2015.
The wait is finally over, thanks to a bill introduced by Republican Senator Jeff Flake that aims to streamline the process.
The bill’s author, Senator Jeff Sessions, says he’s optimistic that it will pass.
But for now, he says, it’s a step in the right direction.
He says the bill would give people more flexibility to file guardianship petitions, allowing them to get the information they need more quickly and efficiently.
And that will be good news for people who are in a limbo, waiting for their paperwork.
Senator Jeff Flake is one of many senators who’s introducing the bill, and the Arizona Republic is live streaming the vote.
I’m Arianna Jones.
For many, getting guardianship documents is a major part of their lives.
But for some, it is also a long-awaited, and sometimes stressful, process.
We’re taking a look at how these delays and backlogs are affecting undocumented immigrants, and why it’s important to address the issues.
The Arizona Republic: How long is a temporary guardianship in Arizona?AUSTIN FELDMAN, SENATOR, AZCENTRAL NEWSPAPER: For most people, guardianship will be a process that takes less than two weeks.
For a few people, it can take up to a year.
And then for the rest of us, the process can take months, sometimes even years.
So, if you’re a young child, you can expect to be here for one year or so.
If you’re older, you may have to wait a year or two.
And so it can be really stressful for people.
It can also be really costly, especially for families.
And it can also leave them with a lot of financial stress, because you can lose your job, you lose your home.
So it can really affect people’s lives.
Senator SESSIONS: So I think it’s also a good idea for people to know that this bill is going to provide flexibility to them.
So they can file a guardianship application faster.
We can take a look into this.
But I think they should understand that we have an expectation that they’re going to be able to file.
And if they don’t file, we can’t help them, and we’re going be able’t help.
And we’re also going to not be able give them back a penny.
And that’s a fair expectation, because if they do file, then we are going to have to pay the attorney fees that they have to go through.
And so we want to make sure that we provide them with the best possible protection.
But we also know that the vast majority of people who have guardianship problems, they’re not going to file for it because they don.SESSIONS SAYS: There is some precedent that says you’re not supposed to be allowed to file and you’re supposed to wait for another person.
So that is why we’re introducing this bill, to allow for this to be a fair process.
And I’m confident that it’s going to make it easier for people and make it quicker.
But Senator Flake says it’s not going in the wrong direction.
We know that we can do a lot better.
He says he believes that it can reduce wait times.
So why are we waiting so long?
We think it has to do with the way that the courts are run.
Because in Arizona, the judges are appointed by the state attorney general.
So you have a judge who’s appointed by Governor Doug Ducey, who is the Republican governor.
And he appoints all the judges.
And, in fact, that judge is not supposed in Arizona to be appointed by a Republican governor, so there’s a lot more flexibility in how they appoint judges.
So we think that it could reduce the wait times, because that would be an improvement.
But that doesn’t mean that it is going in that direction.
The reason is because of the judges that we do have.
So in the end, we’re still going to try to give judges a fair shot to make decisions.SENSELL: So, for example, we have a district judge who is also an attorney general, who’s also appointed by Republican Governor Doug Marrone.
And in fact the Republican Governor has appointed the judge that he has appointed to that district court.
But we do not have a Republican district judge in that same county. So