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Toddler faced possible deportation, until this

A four-year-old adopted girl, living in Colorado, faced possible deportation. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 6:37 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2018 6:58 PM

Amy and Marco Becerra got some very welcome news Wednesday: The orphaned Peruvian girl they adopted will not be deported.

US Rep. Mike Coffman, who took up the Colorado couple's cause, told CNN that he met with immigration officials, who will allow the child to seek citizenship.

The Becerras, both US citizens, were living in Peru in 2014 when they met the newborn girl they would name Angela. They fostered, then adopted her and eventually brought the girl back to their home in Aurora on a tourist visa. Amy Becerra works for the state of Colorado, while Marco Becerra, who is also a citizen of Peru, works for the federal government.

"She changed our lives. We became parents. And so it was no longer about our needs. It was what was best for Angela," Amy Becerra said. "And coming back to the US was best for Angela hands down, largely because of education."

READ: The Becerras put together this story of Angela.

But the couple's plan to raise Angela, now 4, in Colorado was in jeopardy. Angela's tourist visa expires at the end of the month and US Citizenship and Immigration Services had initially denied the child's application for citizenship.

Her parents feared Angela would have become an undocumented immigrant and faced deportation.

"It's inconceivable that a child of two citizen parents would have to live out their life as an undocumented alien in this country," Amy Becerra told CNN affiliate KDVR before the decision.

From a Peruvian orphanage

The Becerras met Angela when she was just 12 days old and living in an orphanage.

"On that very day they literally placed her in our hands," said Amy Becerra, who volunteered at the orphanage. "The orphanage director said, 'Hey, wait a minute, will you guys take care of her?'"

The little girl had been abandoned by her mother, who lived in extreme poverty and had a developmental disability, Amy Becerra said.

"She needed medical care. Her first year of life she was often sick," Amy Becerra said. "But medical care, diapers, formula, whatever needs she had, we took care of it."

The couple was granted a provisional adoption in October 2014. The adoption was finalized in July 2017, leading the couple to make plans to return to the United States, Amy Becerra said. Angela was issued a six-month tourist visa early this year.

"We complied with the laws in both countries," Amy Becerra said.

Fighting for citizenship

In its August 8 denial, the immigration agency said the couple "failed to demonstrate" that they had "legal custody" of Angela for two years before filing the petition for citizenship, Angela Becerra said.

The USCIS has not responded to a request for comment.

The denial also said the couple failed to demonstrate that the adoption does not fall under the Hague Convention. That's an international treaty on adoptions forged to save children from being kidnapped and whisked across borders.

But the couple argued that the 2014 provisional adoption constitutes legal custody.

"It said we had not demonstrated we had full legal custody prior to July 2017," Amy Becerra said. "But we had it prior to October 2014. We had it in four different court documents."

"I've encountered nothing but incompetency and conflicting information," Amy Becerra said of the fight so far.

Still, they are keeping their fingers crossed.

If they get word that her citizenship is approved, Marco Becerra said, "We're going to make a big party. A big, big party."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

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Reported Deaths: 13363
CountyCasesDeaths
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Hamilton35354408
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Ohio56211
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1077284

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1251861392
Cuyahoga1110942107
Hamilton796611200
Montgomery511561012
Summit46842933
Lucas41780782
Butler38228580
Stark32099907
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Clermont19704238
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Licking16373210
Fairfield16083199
Trumbull15966466
Medina15192262
Greene14991244
Clark13927297
Wood13020188
Portage12772201
Allen11564231
Richland11277198
Miami10652215
Muskingum8783132
Wayne8738210
Columbiana8735229
Pickaway8527121
Marion8494135
Tuscarawas8459243
Erie7831154
Hancock6880126
Ross6821152
Ashtabula6756169
Geauga6659148
Scioto6385101
Belmont5828167
Union569347
Lawrence5536102
Jefferson5481151
Huron5409119
Darke5333122
Sandusky5316120
Seneca5248121
Athens518058
Washington5137109
Auglaize487084
Mercer479085
Shelby466893
Knox4472110
Madison434761
Putnam4260100
Ashland420989
Fulton419869
Defiance416597
Crawford3954106
Brown391857
Logan380676
Preble378298
Clinton369861
Ottawa365779
Highland352761
Williams337075
Champaign329258
Guernsey314453
Jackson311651
Perry294250
Morrow283639
Fayette280649
Hardin269864
Henry267766
Coshocton263858
Holmes2587101
Van Wert242463
Pike237233
Adams235852
Gallia235148
Wyandot230654
Hocking214662
Carroll190947
Paulding171140
Meigs144339
Noble133437
Monroe130642
Morgan108223
Harrison107337
Vinton82015
Unassigned02
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