I have a friend who was born in the Czech Republic, and moved to the US as a toddler. After Trump was elected, she was surprised to find letter in the mail from ICE asking her to confirm her lawful presence in the country — for the first time in 35 years.
I have another friend who was born in China and adopted by American parents as a newborn. The same thing happened.
Another friend of mine was fortunate enough to avoid this fate, because after 35 years in the United States — ten of which we'd been friends — he had finally formalized his citizenship. I remember the shock and double-take that fell across my face in 2014 when I learned that he hadn't been a citizen after all this time. He had moved to the US from Argentina as a toddler, and though his presence remained legal for those 35 years, he hadn't done anything to formalize his citizenship until after his father passed away.
I thought of these friends as I read this New York Times article about an adopted woman who is married with two children, and recently discovered — much to her surprise, and by no fault of her own — that her presence isn't lawful.
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It was on the eve of getting married in 2012 that she realized there was something amiss in her all-American upbringing. Adopted as an infant from Mexico, she discovered that what she thought was a minor mix-up in her paperwork was something else entirely.