WASHINGTON — Aaron, a 32-year-old from Fort Wayne, Ind., is taking care of his four-year-old daughter alone while his wife, April, is in Mexico to sort out her immigration status. Although she was not deported, April is not allowed back in the country unless Aaron can prove “extreme hardship” from having her away — and any hardship to their four-year-old daughter carries no weight in USCIS findings.
Based on a 1996 law, children who are U.S. citizens cannot petition for their parents to stay in the United States based on the extreme hardship they would endure by being apart from their parents or native country. As a result, many parents are given a difficult choice: remove a child from his or her home (in the USA), or leave their child with another parent, friend or family member and live apart (in different countries). Clearly, “having to be left behind, having your parent deported, maybe never seeing them again, not having their care and affection — all of that is traumatic for a child.” says Michelle Brané, director of the Detention and Asylum Program at Women’s Refugee Commission.
Even in the rare cases when a child’s “extreme hardship” is taken into account, simply being separated from a parent is not enough to allow the parent to stay in the United States.
Aaron works a full-time job at a manufacturing facility and attends school at night, working toward a Bachelor’s in organizational leadership. He spends $300 more than he makes per month and is eating through his savings. When he is with his four-year-old daughter, she is often depressed and confused, yelling at him and questioning why her mother is so far away.
April could be granted a waiver to return to the United States at any time, but until then the family is in limbo, unsure of when they will be permanently reunited.
For full article see Children Of Immigrants Face Hardship To Keep Families Together -Huffington Post