Gustavo Valencia, from Mexico, holds a photo of his father, who migrated to San Diego years ago. Valencia has waited nearly 20 years for his green card to live in California legally. (Photo: John Rosman)
In his teens, Valencia left Mexico for the United States to join his father, who had migrated north himself years earlier. Soon after his father became a US citizen in 1994, Valencia, who had arrived to the US on a tourist visa and overstayed, applied for a family-based visa to live here legally too.
Valencia remains in line for his green card, waiting out a process that can appear interminable. In fact, in the past nine years, slow-moving bureaucracy and a high number of visa applicants, has created a backlog that has tacked some 13 months to Valencia’s wait in line.
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