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Alexandra P.
Alexandra's story as told to Joe Kennard.

My name's Alexandra P. I'm a 16 year-old sophomore. My mother was taken away a week before my 14th birthday. My father gained his citizenship through President Reagan's amnesty program before he met my mother. They had had me and my sister, who is now 13.

Our parents married when I was 10 years old so that it would be easier for my mother to gain legal status. We did everything (paperwork, paid fines, etc.) and it came down to the government punishing my mother for already being in the country illegally. She was forced to return to Mexico. My sister was too young to live without my mother so she went with her. But after three months she was missing too much school and had to come back to the U.S.

After a while we got an appointment for my mom's visa, but in the end they declined her for this reason: "lacking evidence of extreme hardship". My sister and I are minors and are U.S. Citizens. My father works two jobs, and I work also because we are applying again for my mother's visa. My mother cannot get a job in Mexico so we send money to help her out plus keeping up with bills here.

I send you my story to share with others because this is not how I imagined my childhood would be spent.

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