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21 Jun, 2010 05:08

Red tape over green card tears Russian’s family in US apart

Having lived in the US for 13 years, a Russian music teacher now faces deportation. Having Tatyana Miroshnik divorced her American husband, the immigration authorities say she has lost her legal right to stay.

Tatyana's home in California is always filled with music. She is a music teacher. But the daily classes she gives to her two daughters could soon be over.

The US Department of Homeland Security is going out of its way to expel her from the country, along with her Russian-born son, Eugene.

“My son's life will be shattered, my girls will be growing here during one of the most important periods of time – teenage years – without my counsel, without having mother by their side. How terrible that is,” Tatyana Miroshnik says.

The girls' father is American. He divorced Tatyana four years ago. The children are now in joint custody, but could soon find themselves thousands of miles away from their mother.

“Nastya and I will try to write a letter so the judge can see how we feel about our mom having to go,” says daughter Tatyana with her sister.

Legal arguments over the immigration status of mother Tatyana and her son Eugene went on for 12 years, ending with a court decision – to deport.

Immigration officers have gone as far as to put a GPS bracelet on her ankle so she cannot run away before being sent away. But Tatyana says she has nowhere to run.

“I never was on welfare. I never asked for any government money. And they have people like me who teach kids music, how to play violin, how to perform on stage. What's wrong with that? How is that a threat to national security?” Tatyana Miroshnik asks.

16-year-old Eugene sees himself as an American and his future in the United States.

“I'd like to do something in the medical field, be a physician. Now education is taking a back seat, just because this whole immigration is now a priority,” the teenager says.

US courts are saying Tatyana and her Russian-born son have no legal basis to remain in the United States. The fact that their ruling leaves two young daughters without a mother and a family shattered obviously does not count for anything. Tatyana's plight has her supporters in the Fremont, CA, community asking – is there a human basis in what the US immigration officials are doing or is it all about red tape?

Hundreds of people took to the streets to show Tatyana and her family they are not alone.

Presbyterian Church pastor Bruce Green has started a Facebook page in support. More than 1,700 people have signed up so far. Most of them, Bruce says, her students and their family.

”The government doesn't seem to know how to discern a good immigrant from a bad immigrant. We want to expel bad immigrants. We don’t want to expel people like Eugene and Tatyana. That doesn’t make any sense!” Bruce Green says.

RT’s attempts to reach the immigration officer who is dealing with Tatyana's case failed. No response and no returned calls.