Putting a human face on the sometimes abstract debate regarding U.S.
immigration policy, the News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, recently
profiled a local resident whose immigration status has caused strife for
herself and her family.
The subject of the News Tribune feature, Tara Ammons Cohen, is a
39-year-old woman who was brought to the United States as an infant but
never went through the naturalization process. Her citizenship status
exacerbated the consequences of her struggle with substance abuse; her
2008 arrest on a drug charge landed her in a federal immigration ins
detention center in Tacoma, where she remained for nearly three years.
Though she was released and reunited with her family last August, her
time away from them and the limitations placed on her as an
undocumented resident have strained her relationship with her husband
and her two sons, ages 11 and 14.
Without a green card, work permit or any other employment authorization document,
Ammons Cohen – a one-time teacher's assistant and bus driver – cannot
get a job. The news source described how difficult it is for the family
to get by on her husband's wages as a logger. He gets up at 2:45 a.m.
for work and must chop wood in his spare time for extra income.
Ammons Cohen told the newspaper she is thrilled to be with her sons
again but sometimes finds it challenging to relate to them, having
missed out on all the experiences they went through while she was in
Having worked with police after being assaulted at the age of 17,
Ammons Cohen has applied for a U visa, which is granted to some illegal
immigrant crime victims. But the News Tribune reported she could
ultimately be deported to Mexico, despite the fact that she has lived in
the United States her whole life and does not speak Spanish.
While Ammons Cohen's children would be able to live with their father
should she be deported, many children find themselves entering the
foster care system after their parents are forced to leave the country.
According to a recent Applied Research Center report, there are more
than 5,000 children in the U.S. foster care system due to the
deportation of a parent or parents.Source: http://www.immigrationdirect.com/immigration-news/us-citizenship/washington-womans-story-illustrates-plight-of-undocumented-immigrant-parents/index.html
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