A couple in Colorado is fighting to keep their daughter, who was adopted from Peru, from being being deported at the end of the month. CNN reports that Amy and Marco Becerra are U.S. citizens who were living in Peru in 2014 when their daughter, who they would name Angela, was born. They fostered the newborn, then adopted her, and finally brought her back to the United States on a tourist visa.
"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 said. "And coming back to the US was best for Angela hands down, largely because of education."
Angela's tourist visa expires at the end of the month, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has denied the application for her to become a U.S. citizen. Without intervention on her behalf, Angela faces becoming an undocumented immigrant and deportation. Her parents are understandably shocked at this turn of events and worried for their daughter's future.
"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 told CNN affiliate KDVR.No matter how precarious the future may seem, Amy and Marco still have hope that things can work out. A U.S. immigration official in Missouri told Amy that Angela's case has been reopened. Rep. Mike Coffman has also stepped up to the plate, offering to intervene on the child's behalf.
"I have full confidence that once this case is reviewed closely," Coffman said, "we will have good news for the family -- Angela is not going anywhere."
The Becerras first met Angela at a Peruvian orphanage when she was just twelve days old. Amy had been volunteering there and was asked to take care of her after the infant's mother had abandoned her. Angela came from extreme poverty and was found to have a developmental disability. She needed medical care and spent the first year of her life sick.
In July of 2017, the adoption was finalized, and the Becerras got a six month tourist visa to bring their daughter back to their home in Colorado. The immigration agency has stated the couple has failed to provide proof that Angela has been in their legal custody for two years or more, the time period necessary for them to apply to get their daughter citizenship. The couple says they had proof of provisional adoption since October 2014.
As they wait for the case to be resolved, they face the choice of moving back to Peru or keeping Angela in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. But they are still hopeful that there is a future for Angela in America someday, Marco vowing to throw a big party when the decision finally falls in their favor.