Supreme Court strikes visa priority for aged-out immigrant children

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 10, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that tens of thousands of immigrant children who turned 21 before their parents received their permanent residencies could not be given special priority and should go to the back of the line and apply for their own visas.

The 5 to 4 decision means these children will not get the same priority dates as their parents and would have to wait up to an additional 10 years to get their green cards. The justices decided that immigration laws only offer relief to a small percentage of children who age-out of the system when they turn 21. But the majority would no longer qualify for the immigration status granted to minors.

David Leopold, past president and legal counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) told Balitang America that the Child Status Protection Act was at the heart of the Supreme Court case. He said, “The Supreme Court, in reviewing the immigration statute, is constrained, by a very poorly written and dysfunctional piece of law. I think the Supreme Court interpreted it as they thought. Unfortunately, the law is the problem and the law needs to be fixed. Most people don’t realize that the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is not really designed to accommodate the visa backlog that we have in this dysfunctional immigration system.”

Attorney Michael Gurfinkel stated in his law firm’s immigration updates that the Supreme Court “ruled that only aged-out children who can retain their original priority date under the CSPA are those who were originally petitioned by a lawful permanent resident (LPR) parent in the F-2A category (minor child of LPR), either as a direct beneficiary, where the LPR parent directly petitioned that minor child or as a derivative beneficiary, where a green-card holder petitioned a spouse, and their minor child was included under that same F–2A petition, and later aged–out.

Gurfinkel added that all other derivative children who aged out are not able to retain, convert or transfer the original priority date on their parent’s petition. He said, “This means that aged out derivative children in the following categories will not be able to retain/convert the original priority date of their parent’s petition, which was filed either by the child’s grandparent or uncle or aunt: F–1 (adult child of US citizen), F-2B (single adult child of LPR), F-3 (married child of US citizen) and F-4 (brother or sister of US citizen).

“Instead, the parent will have to come forward and file a brand new petition in the F-2B category (once the parent gets a green card), and the child will get a brand new priority date based on when the parent files the new petition,” Gurfinkel explained.

Leopold said that although this Supreme Court decision is final, what’s not final is the ability of the American people to vote on a Congress next year that’s going to do something about the country’s broken immigration system.

He concluded, “We need to change the immigration law so that it helps keep families together and helps unify the American spirit, the American dream.”

6 Comments on this post.

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  • Mar
    10 June 2014 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Supreme Court ruling is final, more money for immigration lawyers from Pinoy parents, who have undocumented children living with them. As of today,Obama’s priority is to flood America with 100,000 childrens from Hondoras, El Salvador,Guatamala. Who brought them here, this will change the demographics of America, Obama exec order released $1.5B for the children and more 100Ks are coming. No more TPS for Pinoys, in my opinion, Latinos are loyal Democrats voters, because they only depend on welfare, while Pinoys are disloyal Democrat voters, because they love to work, 2-3 jobs etc. Pinoy’s will become Republican voters, when they start paying taxes to the Government and will find out that the tax money is given to Democrat Latino’s who never want to work and only depend on welfare.

  • JRB
    11 June 2014 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Leopold you should be shame in saying “We need to change the immigration law so that it helps keep families together and helps unify the American spirit the American Dream.” Your “NUTS.” You can’t broke the law and come to America that way you have to go to the back of the line to come to America the rightway like what the Supreme Court Decision that is “FINAL.” All have to go back of the line and come to America the rightway. Thank You to the America Supreme Court for a good Decision for all Americans that came to this country the rightway. That is what you call the real American Dream.

  • Delia
    11 June 2014 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    The clown in the White House, needs to quit selling our country down the river.

  • Kuya
    11 June 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    This is not right. The parents waited for 24 years and the children’s then was only 1 and 3 yr old and because of the back log. The children aged out and now they will say that the children can’t avail of the parents visa? Where is the common sense here? If the children aged out before the petition was filed or after 6 years after the petition was filed. Then that is understandable but in most cases children aged out because of the back log in the processing of the petitions. 20 some years waiting for the processing of the petition is not right and unacceptable. I just hope that the Suprme Court will reconsider its decision and give considerations for those that aged out because of Immigration back log in the processing of the petition papers for the children.

  • noz
    12 June 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    the liberal, socialist politicians priority push are the legalizations of 11 million out of the 30 million illegal aliens, to widen the voting base of the democraps. it will further build huge gaps of backlogs, critically affecting permanent resident visa issuance. green cards will be given first to those illegal aliens living in the USA for decades. the INS laws reform are the nightmares for those legally applying for permanent resident visas in any part of the world, no matter what, the visa quotas afforded to countries will be vague, up in the air. indeed, the INS laws reform may give rise to certain group, but will kick another group in the butt to smack them to hopelessness, in line with the true saying life is unfair.

  • Christa
    29 January 2015 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Is there any exemption? Especially those who have been affected by Regression happened back in 2011..