Developmentally disabled Ukrainian woman threatened with deportation

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NesterenkoEVERETT — The Nesterenko family is facing an uncertain future.

Their daughter, Angelina, just turned 18 last month but they say she has the mind of a 5-year-old.

When she applied for a green card, the family received a letter from U.S. Immigration saying she should make arrangements to leave the country as soon as possible, then apply to emigrate back to the United States from Ukraine — a process that could take years.

But she can never live on her own, according to her parents.

“She’s about (a) 5- to 7-year-old child who really probably needs care for the rest of her life. Somebody needs to be with her because she can’t take care of herself,” Angelina’s brother, Demaa Nesterenko, said.

They said they fled their country because of religious persecution and because Demaa publicly advocated for his sister and other kids with mental disabilities — something, he says, that is frowned on by the Ukrainian government.

The other problem: his father is Ukrainian and his mother is Russian.

Finding a safe home might be impossible.

“It’s scary. People are really scared. They’re hiding in any place they can find just to feel safe,” Nesterenko said.

It is a mother’s worst nightmare.

“It’s just dangerous and scary for me. I can’t even imagine what’s going to happen to her and on top of that she has special needs care 24/7. She needs her medication,” Angelina’s mother, Oksana Nesterenko, said through a translator.

Lesley Irizarry-Hougan is one of the top immigration attorneys in the state.

She says there is hope for Angelina and her family.

“I think she has a pretty good case for asylum. There is a way to apply for asylum past the one year, an exception based on changed country circumstances, one of them is political. Also based on her disability there also is an exception to that,” Irizarry-Hougan said.

So for now Oksana chooses to stay positive.

“I think in the end of it we’re going to have happy ending and the government will let us stay my kids with me here,” Oksana Nesterenko said.

While everyone involved is optimistic, nothing is certain and what’s worse for the family — Angelina has two younger sisters, 12 and 14, who will likely have to deal with the same thing when they turn 18.


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  • S_Hunter

    They are trying to "fast-track" illegal immigrants (mexicans) to stay in this country and giving them citizenship-style rights and this poor kid is having to deal with this? I'll bet if she was mexican, she wouldn't be dealing with this BS!

  • Joe

    She should have claimed to be a Mexican then they would instead give her welfare, free housing, medical, dental, schooling and immunity from the law.

  • guest

    This story blows my mind. These people have a real cause, they are trying to do the right thing yet no help seems to be available while all the ILLEGAL Mexicans are allowed to stay and bleed the system and the local, state and federal governments turn a blind eye.

    • Joe

      Because they're ran by democrats who lust the votes of the multitudes of dependent upon government babies who help provide illegal votes.

  • The World is Ending

    If this girl was Hispanic, the stop all deportations now now group would be all over this but since she's a white girl they don't care!!! in fact I am surprised that a white person be deported even made the news. I looked for this on other national news sites and couldn't find it, again like I said a white person gets deported (like they do every day) ( yes white people get deported to) but it don't make the news. Something that the media don't talk about is the the majority of people in this country illegaly are not Hispanic, it is just that the Hispanic groups have the loudest voice. We have good immigration laws it is just that they haven't been enforced for decades.

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