In a bid to secure protection for their kids above the age of 21, five Indian families have filed a lawsuit in a US district court demanding equal provisions of the US Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to all children, regardless of the domicile of their parents, the Times of India reported on Wednesday.
In the US, unmarried individuals under the age of 21 are considered “children”. The CSPA in that country protects children from the consequences of immigration delays while the visa petition of theirs or their parents are under process.
After they cross 21 years of age, their existing H-4 visa under the category of “dependants” expires, exposing them to risks of deportation to India or taking up the non-immigrant F-1 visa that could restrict them from taking up off-campus jobs.
In their lawsuit, the families have highlighted that kids with India-born parents are not protected by the CSPA in the US, while children with parents from several other countries are.
“The petition seeks to gain fairness for the H-4 kids who are being threatened with self-deportation after spending a lifetime here”, the Times of India quoted Brent Renison from a law firm dealing with the case.
Many Indians, waiting for their green cards, are siblings of naturalised citizens of America and in the US, permanent residents are allowed to sponsor their relatives for green cards – a provision that has been frowned upon by US President Donald Trump.
In June 2019, the US reportedly warned India it would consider capping quotas for the widely popular H-1B work visas on nations pressuring American firms to store data locally in their territories - including India.
With governments all over the world declaring stricter data storage rules for better access to data in their jurisdictions, India also mandated that foreign firms store their payment data “only in India” in 2018.
The H-1B visa programme allows skilled foreign workers to come to America every year. Out of the 85,000 H-1B work visas granted annually, an estimated 70 percent go to Indians.