WARREN (WWJ) – An 18-year-old Cousino High School student who has been in the United States with her family since she was 4-years-old will be allowed to graduate with her class in June, but then she will have to leave the country.
Ola Kaso was born in Albania. Her family came to the U.S. 14 years ago and applied for political asylum. Their request was denied and a previous attorney did not file the proper paperwork, which meant that the family had to be deported, an action they have fought for years.
The family has now been told they will be allowed to stay in the country until Ola graduates from high school, but after that they must leave.
Kaso admitted to WWJ’s Marie Osborne that her family does not know where they will end up after she graduates.
“I don’t even know where to start over at. I mean, quite frankly, it would be a culture shock. I know nothing but the United States culture, the way of life, the language. I’m completely immersed within this culture. And to move to a place that’s completely foreign to me is just so, I don’t know, its bewildering,” Kaso said.
The family’s current attorney Ashley Mammo said she has continued to work to have the family stay, but things are out of her hands.
“[Ola] was devastated because she came to the country when she was 4-years-old and she’s now 18. This is the only country she’s ever known. She’s your average teenager,” Mammo said.
Kaso was accepted to the pre-medical program at the University of Michigan. She was also named to the Macomb area conference all-acedemic team.
“I want nothing more than to become a doctor and save American lives. And we’ve done everything by the book. We’ve come here legally. We have legally tried to gain citizenship. We have paid taxes. We have bought a home, bought a business, attended schools. We’ve done nothing wrong,” Kaso said.
Kaso has an older sister, who has earned two Master’s Degrees while in the country, and her parents own a bakery, which they will have to sell.
Mammo said despite the family’s devastation and confusion about their future, they will comply with the deportation order.
“They’re a very strong family, so, you know, they’re going to hope for the best. I mean, yeah they are devastated, but they said they will deal with it,” Mammo said.
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