Amy and Marco Becerra, the adoptive parents of a young orphaned Peruvian girl, received welcome news after weeks of worrying: they will not have to see their 4-year-old child deported back to her country of origin. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) oversaw the couple’s case and broke the news that, as of his last meeting with immigration officials, their child will be allowed to go through the processes to acquire U.S. citizenship.
The Becerras, both U.S. citizens and government employees, were based in Peru in 2014 when they met the young girl they would adopt and name Angela. The Peruvian child was only 12 days old during their first encounter. After some time fostering the child, the couple decided to make it a permanent deal and were granted a provisional adoption in October 2014, which would not be finalized until July 2017.
“We complied with the laws in both countries,” Amy Becerra claims.
They later took Angela, who was only on a 6-month tourist visa at the time, home to Colorado with them.
“She changed our lives. We became parents. And so it was no longer about our needs. It was what was best for Angela,” Amy Becerra recalls. “And coming back to the US was best for Angela hands down, largely because of education.”
The fast approaching expiration date for Angela’s tourist visa, which was set at the end of August 2018, put her lawful presence in the U.S. and her parents’ plans for her at risk. The Becerras attempted to apply for her citizenship, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had initially denied their application earlier this month.
According to the agency, the Becerras failed to verify that they had complied with a vital requirement – having the child in their legal custody for at least 2 years before petitioning for her citizenship. In addition, the couple, at least according to the immigration agency, “failed to demonstrate” that the adoption does not fall under the Hague Convention.
“It’s inconceivable that a child of two citizen parents would have to live out their life as an undocumented alien in this country,” Amy Becerra said.
The Becerras argued that the provisional adoption effective 2014 should mark the starting point in counting the years Angela has been in their custody.
“[The denial] said we had not demonstrated we had full legal custody prior to July 2017,” Amy Becerra said. Countering that allegation, she claims that there are at least four pieces of documentary evidence that prove they had custody of Angela even prior to October 2014.
With USCIS declining to comment on the case, the Becerras have no choice but to wait for a decision concerning Angela’s citizenship application.
If you, or a loved one, need any kind of assistance on a complex immigration case like this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215-5225 to schedule a consultation with immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.