We're going to lose our dad, please help.

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For more than a decade my father has been trying to get his green card. He first tried to get it through his dad who lived in Oregon and was a U.S. citizen, but after 8 years of waiting, just as they were about to approve it, his father unfortunately passed away from pancreatic cancer. Then, his sister became his substitute sponsor for him because she's a U.S. citizen too; however, for confusing reasons the immigration officer denied the case. My father cannot get his papers through me or my sister because we are not of age yet, and mom is divorced to him. My mother now lives with her new husband and child in Russia and we have not seen her since December 2015.

My dad wants to get his papers legally, yet there are such large restrictions that it's nearly impossible. He has no crime history, isn't affiliated with terrorists, or anything of the sort. He owns a house here in the U.S., and has strong ties to this country. My little sister has ADHD and mild autism, and my dad is the only one in our immediate family that can give her the help she needs with school and personal development. Teachers and neighbors often express amazement and shock at the incredible difference that my sister displays when my dad is here. My mom couldn't give her the attention she so desperately needs when my mom was here in my dad's place. He's unable to work here since he doesn't have his papers. And because he cannot work here, he has to get his source of income elsewhere. Before, work in Venezuela was his main source of income (although he is South African), as he is a very experienced interior and graphic designer who specializes in making concepts for retail. He is also an experienced carpenter and quite literally a jack of all trades. Due to the horrible situation in Venezuela currently, he can no longer make money due to the currency change as well as work no longer being available there. I fear for his safety when he's in Venezuela, as there is very high crime rate there and the economy is falling apart. Both Venezuela and South Africa are becoming increasingly corrupt by the day, and we need him to stay here to not only help support us, but for him to live a better life as well. My dad has sacrificed so much to keep us in a good home, and I am heartbroken that he has to struggle to make money. We have grown up in this beautiful country, and don't want to be forced to have to leave the country we love.

It is very unfair, please help. He has missed many birthdays and holidays in the past and is unable to work here.

All my dad wants is to be able to live and work here legally. We are struggling financially and are living paycheck to paycheck. By not being able to keep a steady income, we are at risk of losing our home. We have a hard time keeping up with bills and constantly live in fear of our electricity being shut off or not having enough food to get us by. My sister and I would become homeless if we lost our house, as we have no other family members that can support us. My dad wants to be able to stay here and support our family, and we know that he would for sure be able to do it if he were given the chance to work here legally.

I believe that it will be beneficial if the law was changed, so that it is easier for a parent to get their papers through their child. Right now, a parent can only get their documents through their child if the child is 21 years old. We need to change this to a younger age to help parents support their families from within the United States. A good age would be 18, as it is the age where Americans can join the army and get their driver’s license.

Another option would be to change how to pass citizenship status. For example, if one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child will become a citizen through that parent (NOT because the child was BORN in the U.S.). If the other parent is not a citizen, the child would be able to pass the citizenship onto that parent while the child is young. Then, the child would be able to have both parents around while he or she is growing up.

Allowing easier immigration would benefit many families, and would help them to be able to stay together while helping and supporting their loved ones. Let's start by helping my father, a wonderful and loving person, because he deserves it for the unconditional love he has given to my sister and I.



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