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Becoming An American: Alena Sandimirova

Together with The Marshall Project, we bring you "We Are Witnesses: Becoming An American." Here, Alena Sandimirova seeks refuge from persecution.
Posted at 3:07 PM, Jan 17, 2019

In partnership with The Marshall Project, we bring you personal accounts of the immigration system in America. In this video, Alena Sandimirova finds a new life, and new acceptance, in America that her home country of Russia wouldn't permit.

To see more stories like this, check out the links below:

Jose Molina — A husband and father who was brought to the U.S. as a child fears deportation over a crime he committed almost two decades ago.

Alina Diaz — Crossing the border is dangerous, and Diaz was pregnant when she emigrated from Colombia in search of a better life.

Youngmin Lo — A South Korean immigrant who entered the U.S. on a student visa details his parents' cultural belief that despite tremendous hardship, they should forgo basic living standards to support their children's goals.

David Ward — A retired Border Patrol agent explains what it's like to work on the border and why he thinks the job is vital to Americans' safety.

Lee Wang — An immigration lawyer explains why she thinks actions taken by previous presidential administrations laid the groundwork for an increase in deportations today.

Nisrin Elamin and Tahanie Aboushi — An immigration lawyer and a Sudanese-born academic recount the uncertain first hours of President Trump's executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries.

John Sandweg — The former acting director of ICE explains why his views on immigration changed after he joined the department and began drafting new deportation guidelines.

Teofilo Chavez — A Honduran-born teenager tells his story of crossing the border into Texas as a child and finding refuge and success in soccer.

Zaid Nagi — A Yemeni immigrant working in New York City reflects on how his life changed in the wake of 9/11.

Judge Paul Schmidt — A retired immigration judge reflects on his career and shares why he thinks immigrants are the fabric of the country.

Villacis-Guerrero family — A family of immigrants is torn apart by deportation. Twin daughters are left behind in the United States, fighting for their father's return while their mother's fate is pending.