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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2016, 06:22 PM
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dbajaj92 is on a distinguished road
Default Child Protection Act - Help immigrant Children

My name is Divya Bajaj and I am a first generation Indian-American. My family moved here back in 2001, and have tirelessly worked the last 15 years to get my green card. My sister and I grew up like any typical American teen, but with the constant fear and anxiety of being deported.. Now, our worst fear has come true, and my sister only by the virtue of her age, is being deported back to a country she doesn't know.

I came into this country when I was only 8 years old. Unaware of what was really happening, I innocently believed California to be my new home and quickly made new friends. As I grew older, the consequences of the broken immigration system soon became the reality of my life. It takes years for an application to move forward at the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), where all immigrant families send their petitions to receive permanent residency. In this time, the children that came into this country at a young age, take for example an 8 year old, can "age-out" to being older than 21 years old. Once the clock hits 21 years, you are immediately thrown off the family visa you entered this country with. This is exactly how the broken immigration system came running after my normal life. After that, it is a constant battle to remain a legal status in this country either by jumping on an international student visa to continue studying or somehow magically getting a company to sponsor a young adult for a job. Both options come with their own consequences. International students pay three times as much for tuition and are not considered for student loans. The second option is next to impossible since children dependent on their parents are not allowed to work in the USA until receiving their work permits which is the last step of the green card process. So a recent graduate with no experience asking to be sponsored for a job (costs thousands of dollars for a company to sponsor) is unheard of for any young adult.

From that point on, it is a constant war against time, hoping that you can somehow maintain a legal visa in the country till the time you may receive your Green Card. My sister and I endlessly fought the system and managed to complete our master’s degrees in this time. Now fast forwarding to early 2015, our whole family received their work permits after waiting for more than a decade. That meant, we were just one step away from getting our green cards. After completing the nitty gritty steps of the green card process of medical check ups, fingerprinting and more, we were finally just waiting for an immigration officer to approve our case. It was October 2015, when we got the news that my parents and I have finally been approved and our green cards were on the way.

As we frantically checked my sister’s status online, all it said was “DENIED.” We had to wait a week before we received the letter in the mail explaining why after years of struggling, my sister solely had been denied. That was one of the hardest weeks of my life. The letter from the USCIS explained that children over 21 are only considered under the same application of their parents for a certain time limit. There is an exact formula that is explained under the Child Protection Act of 2002, that formulates an age per applicant till they remain part of their family’s application. I as a 23 year old, was just under the bar, while my sister did not make the cut.

We were given no options to appeal the decision made on this case. This gives my sister no options but to have to leave the country within 3 to 6 months since the decision was made. My sister, my role model, my best friend who has gotten me through every hardship in this process is now being ripped apart from our family due to outdated immigration laws. She has not once left USA since she first moved from India at the age of 10. And now 15 years later, she is being asked to leave to “her” country. Is it fair that due to the lengthy process of immigration procedures, that one child gets denied solely due to age? Is it fair to ask a child who only knows the cultures and environment of the USA to leave to her birth country where they have no one? Currently, illegal immigrant children who were educated in America from a young age have rights to work and receive financial aid. Why is our immigration system so broken that a child who struggled her whole life to stay legal, is not honored with the same benefits as illegal children if not more? Please help bring awareness to the outdated immigration laws of America. Please help families stay together and don’t separate children from their loved ones.

Sign the white house petition here: http://wh.gov/iwgap
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2016, 12:33 PM
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kummis is on a distinguished road
Default Help Immigrant Children

Hi Divya,
Thanks for posting and I really see your pain as my son is kind of same situation. We also came to US in the year 2001 when my elder son was about 5 years old. Now his current age is 19 yrs and 6 months and more or less seeing the situation what you guys went through.
Hope your sister was able to get through the situation.

kumar.veluru@hotmail.com

I would really appreciate if your parents after going through the long struggle have any inputs so that I can bring out of my son from such situation.

Regards,
Kumar Veluru
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2016, 01:03 PM
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dbajaj92 is on a distinguished road
Default Help Immigrant Children

Hello Kumar,

After going through this situation, we met with the mayor of our city and a lot of other political members. The one thing we learned is that if you contact the mayor, he or she can easily help move an application faster to help your child not have to move onto an international visa or even deal with the outdated Child Protection Act. I'll send you an email shortly and feel free to ask any questions, but I would really encourage you to reach out to the city council members, they can only help your case.

Divya Bajaj
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2016, 02:43 PM
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Uname123 is on a distinguished road
Default Child immigration help

Hi Divya,

My case is very similar to yours, my daughter will age out next year.
Can you send me your email contact. I would like to discuss with you in detail

-Sona
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2016, 03:01 PM
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dbajaj92 is on a distinguished road
Default Child Immigration Help

Hi Sona,

Just sent you a message. Feel free to contact me!

Divya Bajaj
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2016, 03:19 PM
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Uname123 is on a distinguished road
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Hi Divya,

somehow I did not received message, Can you send my your contact at poonam.bps@gmail.com

Thanks
Poonam
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2016, 07:53 PM
gnh gnh is offline
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gnh is on a distinguished road
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I am kind of confused ... If your sister transitioned to an F1 visa why was she on the family application for a GC anyway ?
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-18-2016, 07:55 PM
gnh gnh is offline
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gnh is on a distinguished road
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbajaj92 View Post
Hello Kumar,

After going through this situation, we met with the mayor of our city and a lot of other political members. The one thing we learned is that if you contact the mayor, he or she can easily help move an application faster to help your child not have to move onto an international visa or even deal with the outdated Child Protection Act. I'll send you an email shortly and feel free to ask any questions, but I would really encourage you to reach out to the city council members, they can only help your case.

Divya Bajaj
The amount of GC's allowed per year is fixed ... If the mayor or congressman told you he can move it faster , well he lied . No other choice but wait in line for the PD to be current
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2016, 08:25 PM
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Meena Trivedi is on a distinguished road
Default Help Immigrant children

I am in the same situation. My son is turning 21 very soon. I am here on H1 for last 10 years. Please let me know how to handle this situation
Thanks
Meena
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-25-2016, 08:55 PM
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Poonam-please send me that link too.
Thanks
Meena
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-05-2016, 02:14 PM
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techieraj is on a distinguished road
Default Child Protection Act - Help immigrant Children

Hi Divya,

I just came across this post and saw your petition was closed. My children are in the same boat. I will definetly like to help. If you have another petition going on or any other way I can support please do let me know.

Good luck to all of us worried parents.
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