About a year ago, we reported here about the plight of Blanca Catt, a young lady who was adopted by a local Portland couple as a baby, raised in the Portland/Vancouver area, and knew only this place as home. Her new parents had adopted her after her birth parents, who had turned to a life of crime, had smuggled her into the US as a baby then abandoned her here.

Her world had been turned upside down when it was discovered that her original immigration paperwork had been done incorrectly. Despite assurances from Multnomah County adoption authorities that everything had been done correctly, she was not officially a US resident or citizen. When this was discovered, it was feared that Blanca, who knew only the US as home, who did not realize there was a problem, who had no connections to Mexico, and who did not even speak any Spanish, could be deported to Mexico and not allowed to return to the US.

I am happy to note, from recent reports, that this story will eventually have a happy ending. While the process will not be immediate, the Federal Government has seen fit to allow Blanca one of the rare visas that will allow her to stay in the US as a permanent resident. The now-19-year-old will not be able to apply for US citizenship for another 8 years. In the meantime, she will not be able to pursue some of her original goals. She is now working toward saving money for college to become a dental hygienist. Of course, she will not be eligible for financial aid because of the recent problems with her immigration status. I have confidence that she will make it work.

I know that this young lady will be able to overcome all of this and be able to grow up to do whatever she wants to do. It is unfortunate that our system is not flexible to respond when it is clear that a mistake was made, whether that error was on the part of her parents, the County, or the Federal Government. It just seems that we have become so short sighted on the whole subject if immigration that we cannot do the right thing, even if the right answer to the situation is obvious.

It appears that there is clearly some room for improvement.