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Navigating immigration system full of uncertainty

For undocumented individuals living in the Miami area, life is full of uncertainty. A young man who graduated from a high school in the city is all too aware of this. After years of facing that uncertainty, the young man voluntarily left the United States. His story illustrates just how difficult navigating the immigration system can be.

The man entered the U.S. at the age of two when his family entered the country on a tourist visa. At that point his father sought political asylum which was eventually denied and the entire family was ordered to leave. They didn’t, and were set to be deported shortly after the man graduated from high school. As he faced deportation to Colombia, those he graduated with took to social media and engaged the assistance of Florida lawmakers to keep the young man here. Though it worked for he and his brother, his parents returned to Columbia.

Not long after that, the man secured a full ride to college, and attended and graduated from Georgetown University. With a temporary work permit, the man accepted a well-paying Wall Street job with JP Morgan Chase. During this time, in addition to sending money to his family, he lobbied for the Dream Act by sharing his story with legislators.

Despite everything this man had going for him however, when his temporary work permit expired, things once again got complicated. Though he applied to be a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the wait for an approval, without a job, made it impossible for the man to remain in the U.S. Eventually, he accepted a job from an investment firm in Brazil and recently made the move.

The move has made it possible for the man to continue to support his family. He recently met up with his parents for the first time since they were deported. While that was undoubtedly an upside to the move, the man does not know when, if ever, he will be able to return to the United States, which he considers home.

When it comes to immigration matters one never knows what issues could arise. To position oneself in the best place to succeed, working with an immigration lawyer is a necessity.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, “A dream derailed for former poster child for immigration reform,” Kathleen McGrory, Sept. 14, 2013

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