Surely if a child is adopted by American parents she would herself become an American citizen, right? The answer is not necessarily. Tara Ammons Cohen is a wife and mother of three children from Washington State who is being threatened with deportation back to Mexico even though she was adopted by American parents when she was a baby. “I’m an American. It may not say so with me not having a green card, but I was adopted by Americans. I’m an American”, says she. At only 4 months old she was adopted from an orphanage in Mexico by Americans but her parents did not secure her U.S. citizenship. She has spent 17 months in a detention center and faces the very real possibility of being deported to a country she has never known and doesn’t even speak the language of. “Where would I go? I would be pretty much considered a migrant woman in Mexico. 67% of migrant women are tortured, trafficked, raped,” she stated quite forcefully.
Her trouble surfaced when she was arrested and charged for trafficking in her hometown of Omak for having someone else’s prescription drugs. After serving her jail time, she learned the charge had triggered the deportation process. Yet because being deported would also mean having to leave her husband and children behind, she says she will fight her case all the way up to the Supreme Court “if need be.” Although an order for deportation for Mexico has not been set, she will remain under immigration custody until further notice, meaning she will spend yet another Christmas away form her family. This case in point underscores the importance of seeking the counsel of good immigration lawyers since the nightmare being lived out by this woman could have easily been prevented had her parents or later her husband approached an immigration attorney for advice on her immigration matters. As things stand now, because she is already under ICE custody, the likelihood of her being deported is much higher.