American Families United hails the Board of Immigration Appeals decision in the case of Hieu Trung LE.
Acknowledging AFU's longstanding position -- that it is just wrong to to deport the stepchild of a US citizen because they keep having birthdays during the often years-long wait for their legal immigration visa -- the BIA ruled yesterday in a binding precedent that K-2 visa holders could not age out at 21 and be deported.
Aging out of other family immigration categories were resolved by the Child Status Protection Act which President Bush signed into law in 2002. The stepchildren of US citizens were not explicitly incorporated into the new law, in what been universally acknowledged to have been an oversight, giving rise to the misinterpretation corrected in this BIA decision.
The decision comes after years of advocacy from organizations across the political spectrum, multiple law suits by members of American Families United, and several proposed bills in Congress to address the issue.
Says AFU board member Yumei Li-Bachar, "This decision is long overdue. For years my husband, who is a veteran, and I have struggled with legal fees and international tuition bills -- all because we followed the law. This is our dream act. We hope USCIS will act quickly in granting green cards to my daughter the all the other kids who have been denied justice for so long."
Parties with K2 age out cases should review the decision with an immigration attorney.