Illegal Indian immigrants in US: Many overstayed their tourist or student visas or are from broken marriages


Chirayu Patel was filling out university applications when he found out that he was living illegally in the US. It made little sense to him — he remembers legally migrating from Ahmedabad to Chicago at the age of 11 when his father was granted a US work visa in 1994. However, when Patel applied to the universities, he needed a nine-digit social security number, a federal identification given only to US citizens and permanent residents. Without that number, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a university scholarship or proper authorisation to work on campus. When Patel asked why he did not have such a number, his father confessed that they had overstayed their visa and were now living without any legal status in the US. 

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