This is the moment when everything he has worked for can slip away.
“All my friends enthusiastically talk about turning 21 — hitting the bars, all that… but it’s something that scares me,” she says.
On the day she turns 21, Parvatinathan will not be protected by the work visa that allowed her parents to immigrate from India to the United States. And he could face deportation.
They have dubbed themselves “documented dreamers” and they say their plight shows how broken the US immigration system is.
“The whole situation is something that most people don’t really know,” he says, “that it is possible that an immigrant child could be brought here legally, do all their education here, but still have a chance of becoming No. American.”
‘Victims of outdated immigration laws’
The issue is affecting an increasing number of people, according to Julia Gelett, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute.
Another factor: Some families who come to the United States on some temporary work visa are never eligible to apply to become permanent residents.
And because young adults in these groups had visas to allow them to stay in the United States legally, they were not protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that allowed hundreds of people to live in the United States. Used to provide work permits and protection from deportation. Thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
“Documented Dreamers are one of many victims of our outdated immigration laws that no longer align with the way immigration really works today,” Gelett says.
“We are just hoping that there is a future for all of us, and that we can live and contribute to the country we call home,” says Patel.
If not, Parvatinathan says, the consequences will be disastrous.
She is living on the edge while waiting for student visa
The 19-year-old hostess at Drexel University in Philadelphia hopes to become a doctor someday. Parvatinathan is majoring in biological sciences and trying to focus on her studies. But fear looms large over his future.
She came to America for the first time at the age of 3. And she doesn’t want to be forced to give up everything she’s worked for and moves to India, where she says she feels like a foreigner.
Parvatinathan says that he tried to get a student visa so that he could stay in the United States after his 21st birthday. It has not come even after 14 months of his application. She is on edge, waiting for word and every time an email notification flashes on her cell phone screen.
“It’s something I think about all the time,” she says.
Applying for student visas for documented Dreamers can be difficult, says Gelett of the Migration Policy Institute, because applicants are required to show that they do not plan to live in the United States—something that can be difficult for teens. It is difficult to prove to those who have spent most of their lives here.
And even securing a student visa doesn’t end their worries—it only gives them time until they have to scramble to find another temporary way to stay in the country, such as an employer. -Sponsored work visa.
“It’s like you’re drowning, and every couple of years you get to take a breath, then get pulled back down,” says Anagha Kulkarni, who will turn 21 in January.
“Even if I do the best that anyone has ever done,” he says, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay.”
He was forced to leave because he could not find a job.
It’s a dilemma Erin Crosby knows all too well. After living in Florida for nearly 17 years and earning a nursing degree from the University of South Florida, she says she had no choice but to move back to Northern Ireland in the summer, when she could not find a way to live in the United States. . State.
She had acquired a student visa that would have allowed her to stay in the country after her 21st birthday, but with its expiration date approaching, Crosby began looking for work. She says the pandemic made her more determined than ever to become a critical care nurse, but job after job they told her they couldn’t hire her because of her immigration status. Each rejection phone call sent him into a panic.
“It was hard. They weren’t saying ‘no’ because of me. It wasn’t that I did something wrong, or that I didn’t have the right abilities,” she says. “It was something that was out of my control. I felt powerless.”
The now 24-year-old is trying to start her life in another country – more than 4,000 miles away from her closest friends and family. The pain of leaving them behind still stings. She is yet to bring herself to update her social media profile with her new location.
Now the parents say they are faced with a painful prospect—that the only way for their close family to be together again may be to sell the Florida business they’ve spent 17 years building and Northern Ireland has gone back.
“It’s disappointing to me that we’ve done everything legally, but if you do things illegally, you move on,” says Nigel Crosby.
Congress can fix this. but it’s not likely
And it’s hard to believe that help will come from Washington, Nigel Crosby says. He says immigration has always seemed so toxic that no politician can touch it.
“Which party is in power, it feels like a cup of poison,” he says. Nobody wants to do that. They keep kicking cans.” “They just don’t realize the impact it has on the lives of people who are falling apart.”
So Parvatinathan is trying to remind himself to be patient. But she finds herself still facing a lot of questions that she can’t answer.
In a recent interview for an event at her university, someone asked where she sees herself in 5 or 10 years.
She didn’t know what to say.
Credit : www.cnn.com