As a child, Marta* endured a series of devastating events. Her mother died of cancer, and her father suffered a serious brain injury which left him unable to work and in poor health.
When Marta was just 11 years old, she made the arduous journey to the United States accompanied by family acquaintances with whom she has since lost touch. When crossing the border, she was sleeping in the back seat of their car and does not remember how they got through the US entry point. As a result, Marta has not been eligible for a green card because she can’t prove whether she entered the United States lawfully.
Even without documents, Marta persevered – raising her children who were born in the U.S. and are U.S. citizens. By the time she turned 30, the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program launched, and Marta qualified. Her DACA did not provide a path to a green card, but it did allow her to work legally. She has had a good job at a grocery store chain for the last decade, paying taxes and making a life here.
Recently, one of her children turned 21 and is able to sponsor Marta for a green card. KIAC lawyers obtained a travel document so that she could return to her country of origin to be with her ailing father for the first time in years and return to the US legally. She now qualifies for a green card, and KIAC team members are helping her with that application.
Five years after receiving her green card she will be able to apply for citizenship … the opportunity she has dreamed of since arriving here as a child.
DACA has been an asset for Marta and so many others, but DACA offers no path to citizenship. KIAC continues to help clients renew their DACA, and when the opportunity arises as it did for Marta, to help with acquiring green cards and working towards their citizenship.
DACA needs reform. Alongside our immigrant clients, KIAC advocates for change. Childhood arrivals like Marta need a clear path to citizenship.
*name changed for confidentiality