If Lauren Gray’s parents had been illegal immigrants, she wouldn’t be facing deportation.
Lauren Gray, a dancer who turns 21 on Wednesday, has lived in the U.S. since she was just 4, when her parents came here from England. But they came on work visas and, once she turns 21, Gray can’t piggyback on those permits. So, barring a last-minute miracle, Gray is about to leave for “home,” to a country that’s foreign to her. While she is not being forcibly deported, she plans to “self-deport” rather than remain here illegally.
“The U.S. is the country I was raised in,” Gray, who lives in Trenton, Mo., about 90 miles northeast of Kansas City, told FoxNews.com. “I am unwanted in the country I call home.”
Ironically, under the DREAM Act-style guidelines now being followed by the Obama administration, an illegal immigrant in Gray’s position would be welcome to stay while following a path to citizenship. Earlier this year, the president instructed the Justice Department not to deport law-abiding illegal immigrants if they arrived as minors, graduated high school and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years before 2001, though the administration has denied the guidelines amount to amnesty. While the DREAM Act was designed to apply only to illegal immigrants, the Obama guidelines do cover legal immigrants — provided their immigration status expired prior to June 15.