The Plight of Indian-American Immigrant Children

The Plight of Indian-American Immigrant Children

“I wish I were an illegally arrived child instead of a legal one.” As a stand-alone statement those words are perplexing, but in present context it serves as the mantra of 200,000 Indian-American children who were brought here legally by their parents on H1-B or other work visas. Those children now face the real threat of self-deportation once they turn 21 years old due to the end of their H-4 dependent status and a seemingly endless backlog of green card dissemination. My community of Indian-Americans refers to this issue as DALCA, or Deferred Action for Legal Childhood Arrivals. The distinction from just plain DACA is that the sought-after pathway to citizenship only applies to children who were brought here illegally. The conspicuous absence of this status disparity from congressional discussions and in the media is a truly sad scenario that is leading to a brain drain in the United States. The DALCA voice is just not loud enough and it’s about time we turned the volume up.

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