A woman, originally from India, who acquired legal permanent residence through adoption by a U.S. citizen now faces deportation because of a series of technicalities in U.S. immigration law. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Utah recently ruled that the federal government could proceed with its efforts to deport her. Her case revolves around an unfortunate series of missed dates and premature filings, demonstrating the critical importance of understanding and following the strict timelines set forth by the government’s immigration authorities.
Kairi Shepherd was a three month-old orphan in India when Erlene Shepherd adopted her and brought her to Utah in 1982. She was the youngest of eight children Erlene Shepherd had adopted. She obtained legal permanent residence through her adoptive mother. Erlene Shepherd filled out the application to obtain naturalization for Kairi, but died of cancer before she could file it. Kairi was eight years old at the time. She never legally obtained citizenship due to the timing of a particular statute, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.