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Immigration Services reverses course, adopted Peruvian girl in Colorado can stay in U.S.

Posted: 5:55 PM, Aug 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-17 13:01:10Z

AURORA, Colo. -- When Amy and Marco Becerra adopted a 3-year-old Peruvian girl last April, they had no idea what kind of ordeal it would be to get approval for her to stay in the U.S.

The Aurora couple, both U.S. citizens, had been living in Peru and had been taking care of their adopted daughter Angela since she was 12 days old.

After getting clearance from the Peruvian courts to adopt Angela, they began planning to come back to the U.S. But Angela's application for immigration kept getting delayed.

"We had been reaching out to USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services) for over a year, asking and sometimes begging, and sometimes crying for help," Amy Becerra said. 

She said the people answering USCIS's 1-800 number would simply recite what was on their website, and that some of the information conflicted with information on another government agency website.

Tourist Visa

The Becerras brought Angela to Colorado on a tourist visa, and continued their efforts to get Immigration officials to grant her citizenship.

Earlier this month, they learned their request had been denied.

It came as a shock.

"No one can believe that would happen to two U.S. Citizens," Amy Becerra said.

The couple went public with their plight.

Congressman gets involved

Republican Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman then got involved. 

"What a broken immigration system that would even think about deporting a 4-year-old," Coffman said.

On Thursday, Coffman held a news conference to announce that USCIS had reversed course.

"They said they re-opened it due to the complexities of the case," he said, adding that he believes the agency bowed to public pressure which was a result of all of Amy Becerra's hard work.

The Becerras will now be able to reapply for Angela's citizenship papers.

The Congressman's Communications Director Daniel Bucheli said it should be automatic since both parents are U.S. Citizens.

He said Coffman offered to pay the $1,040 application fee out of his own personal account.

"I feel very grateful," Marco Becerra said. "Another big door is open for my family. I'm feeling no more stress."

Now, 4-year-old Angela can grow up knowing that her home is in Aurora, Colorado.