Immigrants struggle to get visas

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Fishers associate attorney, Kelly Liggett, says it’s been a struggle for her to help people who are desperately, but legally, trying to get to the United States.

One woman, who was too terrified to show her face on TV, spoke only to CBS4 about her situation. She is seeking asylum from her Central American home. She says her parents were drugged and killed, her sister was kidnapped, and she was beaten. She and her youngest child sought refuge, coming to the Midwest.

She met her now-husband, and since then, has been working to get a visa. She is toward the end of the process, but recently learned she’ll have to return to her home country in order to complete some paperwork.

Her husband said he fears she won’t make it back, that it’s not out of the question for violent gangs to target her and her family, and literally knock on her door.

“It’s savagery,” he said.

Meanwhile, that woman’s other children remain in the dangerous country risking their lives. They, too, are working to get visas, but they are waiting in line like many other immigrants worldwide.

This family is just one of many families waiting and wondering what will happen to them.

Getting a visa has always been difficult: it takes a long time, there are a lot of documents to fill out, and it costs thousands of dollars. Now, though, it’s even more difficult because more and more people are applying for visas. There is a nationwide backlog.

“If someone were to file today, it could be 25-30 years,” Liggett explained.

One of the issues is that America only allows a certain number of people from each country. In addition, there aren’t enough judges to process all of the applications.

Liggett told CBS4 that more people have applied, too, since the start of 2017. She said there is a lot of uncertainty in a politically charged climate.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking,” the unidentified family said. “You have to go through Hell and high waters just to get through it.”

The family working to seek refuge locally wants America to make the visa application process more efficient. They say the United States “can do better.”

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