Young illegal immigrants in this country face a unique set of challenges when it comes to getting U.S. citizenship. Family immigration can involve many complicated issues. For one college student, turning 21 at the wrong time could mean uncertainty for her future.
Children under the age of 21 are considered under the status of their parents. However, once those kids turn 21, they are dropped from family visa bids and must start the petition process all over again.
The girl has lived in the United States since she was 4-years-old. When the young woman became too old for her family's bid, her father put in a new petition. This could mean that she will have to wait at least six more years. However, this could all change if the U.S. Supreme Court decides that she doesn't have to start from scratch.
The U.S. Supreme Court is now hearing a case that can change things for kids that "age-out" and are no longer considered under their family's visa bid. The U.S. only gives out a certain number of green cards per year, so it can take a number of years for a visa to be issued.
Most of her family is on the path to becoming U.S. citizens, but the girl's status is still up in the air. The girl is currently in the U.S. due to a medical condition that flared up while she was in Guyana, her original country. Humanitarian parole has to be reviewed every year, so her status could change at any given moment. This Supreme Court decision can have a great impact on her life and the lives of many others.
Source: New York Daily News, "US Supreme Court may help 'aged out' immigrant kids get back on citizenship track," Erica Pearson, Jan. 19, 2014