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The Sunbury Press Author's Interview with Van Carter -- Martine Kalaw

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Illegal Among Us: A Stateless Woman's Quest for Citizenship

Martine Kalaw has to make a hard choice in an immigration courtroom.  Her decision catapults her into a tumultuous and seven-year battle with immigration and a personal struggle to discover her identity.  Ten years later, at age 33, a social media message reconnects Martine with the father she thought dead for 20 years.  Here begins the story of a prep school illegal immigrant's return to her birthland of Zambia.  She travels to Africa to unlock the key to her past but what she discovers is unimaginable and will never leave her the same.

It takes seven years, six different lawyers, numerous Master Calendar hearings, motions, rejections, appeals and testimony before the U.S. Congress (on behalf of the Dream Act), but in 2012 Martine becomes a U.S. citizen.  Her later trip to Zambia discovers a truth about her mother and father which ultimately brings her resolve and an identity.


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