Supreme Court Ruling Will Break Up Immigrant Families

Asian Americans Advancing Justice on Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio:

Supreme Court Ruling Will Break Up Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON – Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) decries today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio (formerlyMayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio), involving the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). The Court has ruled that the CSPA does not protect the children of all family immigrant visa applicants from “aging out” of eligibility to immigrate with their parents as derivative beneficiaries should they turn 21 before the visa is granted. Accordingly, the age-out protections only apply to children who fall within one family-based visa category, “F2A” petitions filed by lawful permanent resident parents.

The Court’s ruling is a devastating blow to thousands of families separated by the broken immigration system. The visa backlogs take a particularly acute toll on Asian American families, with some in our community waiting for up to 20 years to be reunited with their children. Today’s decision contradicts Congress’ very purpose in enacting the CSPA—to keep families together. Families should not be forced to make the impossible decision between pursuing opportunities and creating better lives in the United States while leaving behind their older children, or giving up their American Dream in order to stay together. Advancing Justice is committed to continuing our fight for humane and workable solutions to preserve family unity.

Without the benefit of age-out protections, an unmarried adult son of a U.S. citizen coming from the Philippines would have to wait at least 20 years to reunite with a parent in the United States. An adult married child of a U.S. citizen coming from China could expect to wait at least 10 years.

Last November, Advancing Justice joined other national immigration advocacy organizations in filing an amicus brief to support the families challenging the government’s interpretation of the CSPA. The brief highlighted examples of real families, many of them Asian American, that are separated because of a child’s aging out.