When President Bush signed into law The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) on August 6, 2002, it was evident that the Act sought to avoid penalizing children for U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) [formerly known as INS] delays. The CSPA amends the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) by permitting certain aliens to retain classification as a “child” under the Act, even if he or she has reached the age of 21. However, the CSPA provisions were so ambiguous that USCIS officials and American consular officers had difficulties in interpreting its language and sense. The Department of State (DOS), which interprets matter of law for American consular officers, then provided guidelines and clarifications though several cables to consular officers to enable the proper applicability of CSPA. USCIS also issued instructions to its field officers through several memorandums clarifying the applicability and implementation of CSPA.
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