DETROIT (WWJ) – A local family has launched a campaign to stop the deportation of a 30-year old Detroit woman who they say is in a seemingly paradoxical situation with immigration laws.

Thirty-year old Teresa Pecovic is being held at a detention center in Battle Creek, where she has been since May.

Teresa with her brother. (Family photo)

Teresa with her brother. (Family photo)

She could be deported to Montenegro any day and family members have started an online petition to gain support for her release. At issue family members say Pecovic qualifies for the Dream Act that allows children who were brought here by parents–to stay.

“She’s eligible for it and that’s our main reason for pushing this and pushing a petition. We want her deportation to be lifted so she can continue to file for the Dream Act – it’s a catch-22 – she’s being detained, they are not letting her complete it – she’s going to be deported. It’s just wrong,” said sister-in-law Gada Pecovic.

Teresa was brought here as a child, at age 5, under political asylum with her family; she worked with a social security number, work authorization card, and filed and paid taxes.

“She qualifies for Dream Act, Obama passed it for people exactly like her, coming here at a young age, children educated in this country, working with the social security card and she fits the mold.”

She and other family members were set to be deported–after her father died years ago– but they either married or had children here and are now allowed to say.

They’ve started an online petition for Teresa where more than 2,400 people have already signed.

Find out more about the Dream Act [HERE] and information on the petition [HERE].

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