Elizabeth Olivas, an 18-year-old honor student from Frankfort High School in Frankfort, Indianapolis, nearly missed out on her graduation after being forced to return to Mexico due to a technicality with her visa.
A day before her graduation, however, Olivas was issued a visa, and returned to Indianapolis just a few hours later, according to a report from the Indianapolis Star.
Olivas was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, but she moved to Indianapolis at the age of 4. U.S. immigration law required her to make a return trip to Mexico on her 18th birthday to acquire a visa, but she missed her flight by a day and, as a result, the U.S. Consulate banned her from applying for a visa for three years.
The decision to ban Elizabeth from returning to America for three years may have been overturned just in the nick of time, but appealing for an expedited waiver to return to Indianapolis was no easy task–it took seven weeks and the help of U.S. Sen. Richard Luga to make it happen.
“I never got angry as much as I was frustrated,” Olivas said at the airport upon returning to Indianapolis. “These people are the people I’ve known and lived with my whole life. [I’ve] never been back to Mexico since I came here 14 years ago. This is the only life I’ve known.”