Hampshire County

Russian woman facing deportation is married to U.S. citizen

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - A Russian woman facing deportation is finding sanctuary in a Northampton church. 

Most of us think, the quickest path to citizenship is to marry a U.S citizen, but according to the immigration lawyer Daniel Morrissey it's not that easy. 

The Unitarian Society of Northampton is providing sanctuary to Russian born Irida Kakhtiranova. 

The mother of three young children all U.S citizens, has been in the country since 2003. She's also married to a U.S citizen. 

According to Immigration Attorney Daniel Morrissey, who is not representing Kakhtiranova told 22News, being married to a U.S citizen does not automatically mean citizenship. There are a number of factors that could hurt your chances. 

"Factors like prior immigration history, prior criminal history, child support issues, tax issues and a number of other issues that actually come up on the immigration application its self," said Attorney Morrissey.

According to Attorney Morrissey, a person who obtains legal permanent residence through a U.S. citizen spouse must wait three years to apply for citizenship. Or five years, if they gained permanent residency through another family member. 

In a statement sent to 22News, ICE said, Irida was enrolled in a program on the condition that she voluntarily leave the United States, since she failed to leave, she is now considered an ICE fugitive.


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