A Colorado couple say their adopted daughter could be deported in the coming weeks after, they say, the Trump administration denied her citizenship application without explanation.
Amy and Marco Becerra, both U.S. citizens, told Denver Fox-affiliate KDVR that they adopted their 4-year-old daughter, Angela, when they were in Peru in 2014. Marco Becerra also has citizenship in Peru, where he is from.
The couple said Angela had been abandoned at birth by a woman who was disabled and had been sex-trafficked and was ultimately unable to care for the newborn.
The Becerras legally adopted Angela through Peruvian court, and sought to bring her back to the U.S. after the adoption was finalized in 2017.
“We wanted her to have the opportunities that are available here, the education that’s available here. The American dream,” Amy Becerra told KDVR.
But Angela’s immigration application was delayed, and the U.S. government declined to grant her a travel visa for more than a year, they said.
The tourist visa that Angela was eventually granted is set to expire at the end of this month, but her immigration case was denied without explanation, according to the couple. It is unlikely they will be able to complete an appeals process before the tourist visa runs out.
“We’re both citizens. My husband and I have a full legal binding adoption completed and we have a birth certificate that lists no other parent,” Amy Becerra said, telling KDVR that she and her husband are scared to raise their daughter in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.
Both parents are government workers. Amy Becerra works for the state of Colorado and Marco Becerra works for the federal government.
“If she expires her visa, she is officially here as an undocumented alien,” she added. “And legally is at risk for deportation even though both her parents are citizens.”
The Becerra’s case comes during a time of increased tensions over the Trump administration’s immigration policies, and federal efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.
The couple has been reaching out to immigration attorneys, and is currently awaiting a letter explaining why their daughter’s case was denied. The outlet reported that an explanation should be available “within the next few weeks.”