| Read Time: 2 minutes | Citizenship

Author : Ama Frimpong

After receiving bad advice from several immigration attorneys before coming to us, George and his wife Bernice lived in fear that their profoundly-disabled 16-year old daughter could be deported at any moment. Bernice is a permanent resident. George is a U.S. citizen by birth. A military veteran, George spent his life in the U.S. until 1997, when he moved with Bernice and his family to Mexico. In 1998, while still in Mexico, he and Bernice welcomed Xiomara, their third child, into the family. Xiomara was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Xiomara is unable to walk, talk, or even eat unaided. She is completely and totally dependent on others for all of her care needs.

In 2002, George and his family returned to the U.S. They crossed the border by car and were waved through by the immigration officer. Once here, George consulted a number of attorneys and each attorney informed him that Xiomara was at risk of deportation because she entered the United States without paperwork. They advised that George would have to petition for his daughter, and that she would then have to leave the country to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility in Mexico.

What each of these other attorneys missed is that Xiomara was a U.S. citizen through her U.S. citizen father and that she simply needed to apply for proof of her citizenship. The quickest and easiest way was to apply for a U.S. passport.

Our office immediately put together the application. Two and a half weeks later, George received Xiomara’s passport in the mail and the worry was over after twelve years.

The issue of derivative citizenship under U.S. law is a complex one, requiring the knowledge and experience of a specialist in this area. If you believe you or one of your children may be a citizen of the United States, please contact our office for assistance.

Author Photo

Helen represents clients facing criminal charges in both state and federal court. She is a member of the Criminal Justice Act panel of attorneys in the Middle District of North Carolina, and is admitted to practice before the Eastern, Middle and Western District Federal Courts as well as the Fourth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.

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