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90-year-old woman denied Utah ID as feds search for immigration papers in ‘cave’
Immigration glitch » Feds won’t issue an ID to Utahn, 90; still searching for her papers in a Missouri storage.

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"The first time I heard about it I was surprised," Counts added. "But there’s quite a bit of record storage there — millions upon millions upon millions of files."

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Records cache » The cave is the national repository for all Department of Veterans Affairs records and large holdings for U.S. Customs,USCIS, federal courts and the Social Security Administration. More than 100,000 file requests are made each year with a one-day turnaround to retrieve the records, according to the National Archives and Records Administration.

To launch her search — and secure her ID sometime this summer — McKitrick was sent to the USCIS office in Salt Lake City.

"I didn’t even know there was such an office," she said. "They were very nice. The whole thing was very secure, everyone in police uniforms. They had to check my purse before they let us in.

As I understand it, I have to have an alien number. They are looking for the number, I think."

Counts expects success before July, but acknowledges McKitrick’s plight is rare.

"We certainly understand that even though we are dealing with paperwork and documentation, we are also dealing with a person’s life."

To that end, McKitrick says she was finally able to relax when the immigration agent assured her she’d be "OK."

"That was a relief," she managed with a nervous laugh. "A couple days ago I thought I was going to be deported — to Poland.

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It’s so complicated, and it’s because East Prussia was given to Poland. The whole point is we’ve lived too long, I guess."


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