Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ethiopian woman wants to be U.S. citizen, but her father won't submit to a blood test

(Dec 26, 2013, (St. Paul))--A St. Paul woman who was born in Ethiopia says her father’s refusal to prove paternity is blocking her path to U.S. citizenship. In a federal lawsuit filed on Christmas Day, an Ethiopian refugee who has lived in the Twin Cities nearly 10 years is suing her father, contending that he refuses to take a blood test that she needs in order to become a U.S. citizen.

Sara Jelde, who came to the United States in 2004 at age 17 with her five siblings and father, is also suing Immigration Services for requiring the test. She shouldn’t suffer because her father won’t provide the blood test, said her attorney, P. Chinedu Nwaneri, on Wednesday. “She feels helpless.”

Jelde’s mother did not come to the United States, and the family settled in Eagan. Sara Jelde eventually moved in with her eldest sister, who helped Jelde get legal resident status. The five children later moved apart, her father remarried and they had not communicated for several years, the suit says.

Jelde, now 26 and living in St. Paul, finds herself in a legal quagmire brought on by her decision last May to apply for citizenship. The suit says Jelde’s father has refused to provide a blood test demanded by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that will prove his paternity. Read more from Star Tribune »   

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