JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A dad who served in the Air Force and a mom who says she has never left the United States say they can't get two of their teenage children social security numbers.
Dana and Brenda Hall say their children were born in Duval County and have always lived in Jacksonville, but they say the Social Security Administration still will not issue them numbers.
Brenda Hall never imagined when she gave birth to her now 16-year-old son, Jireh, and 18-year-old daughter, Charity, at their Jacksonville home that she would spend more than a decade trying to prove they are American citizens.
"They are paralyzed," said Brenda. "Their life is totally paralyzed right now."
Dana says, "They can't drive legally. They can't work legally. They can't leave the country. They can't go to college. Their lives are basically right now on hold."
"It's really frustrating especially knowing my mom has never left the country. She's never gotten a passport," Charity said.
Because Charity and her brother were born at home and their parents waited more than a year to apply for their birth certificates they had to petition for Delayed Birth Certificates. They were finally granted those in December 2013 with the approval of a Circuit Judge.
"We ran to that Social Security Office as anxious as could be, ready to celebrate, and gave it to a gentleman and all of sudden the next order was this is fine, but we want to know where your kids have been up until this was issued," said Brenda. "Now we need to prove they are U.S. Citizens."
The children are home-schooled, which presented another challenge, even though their school is registered with the state.
"My school records weren't valid because it was my own private school, of which I have students who do go to college," said Brenda.
"More than anything it's just being handed off to person after person," Dana says. "Almost like a vicious circle and never being able to meet their requirements or they will tell us what they need and we go get it and it's not enough."
Brenda says she has asked the Social Security Administration to provide her with an explanation in writing as to why her children are being denied social security numbers. She's still waiting.
"I've been waiting a long time. I want to pay taxes and get a job and be a normal citizen. You know?" Charity says.
"I'm hitting wall after wall after all and I really feel like if a judge says they are born here, you have given me enough evidence, that should be it," Brenda said.
"So it's frustrating, and I know they help foreigners so much, fast track them through, help them through and get them all set up, and here we are American citizens, born here, served my country and it doesn't seem like anyone really wants to go out of the way to help us," Dana said.
First Coast News reached out to Congressman Ander Crenshaw's Office. His spokeswoman told us before they can look into the matter the Halls will need to sign a Privacy Act waiver, as any constituent would need to do. The Halls plan to do that Friday.
First Coast News will also be reaching out to Social Security Administration.