Message from a self-deportee

Hi My name is Lavern Butler and I would love to tell my story of my struggles, frustrations. I was brought to the USA when i was 3 years old. My mother abandoned me and left me with family members. I was taken in by my adoptive mother. I started school in NY when I was 5 then later moved to Texas. My adoptive mother received guardianship over me when I was 9 years old that was in 1989. I was later adopted when I was 16 years which I was still a minor. I was still going to school. My adoptive mother was granted adoption , but not for immigration purposes. It took a long time to find my biological mother to be found to get a letter from her stating that she consent to the  adoption.

When i was 16 I wasn’t really thinking about immigration problems, I dint know anything about immigration. I grew up as an American so it was a concern until I was around 17 and most of friends were taking Drivers Ed in class and I couldn’t take it. All my friends were getting jobs and fond out that I couldn’t get a job because of my status. My adoptive mother did everything through the system to try and change my status up till his day and she got denied in every way. The government doesn’t care if you will be separated from your family, if you can’t continue your education, or if you want to work. If your a minor they do not care about any of that, they just care that you leave there country because you don’t belong there and you’re “illegal.”

I’m glad that they make you finish High School though, but now I want to go to a University for my Hospitality degree. It’s sad that you can go through all the channels you needed to go through but still get denied everything. Right now I am 28 years old and still fighting to change my status. I’ve been to lawyer after lawyer to no avail. I have been in the USA for almost 23 years, all my life.

I did a voluntary departure to try to get my status changed where I was born. It’s been 3 long years and I’m suffering. My adoptive mother wants me home with her and I don’t know what to do anymore to get back home to my family. But its weird how they can give you an “Alien Number” a “Texas Vital Certificate” and a “ITIN” but then deny you your legal status. Their laws contradict themselves. I just would love to get this resolved.

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