Tara Ammons Cohen doesn't speak Spanish.
She hasn't lived in Mexico since she was 5 months old.
For nearly all her 37 years, she thought she was a U.S. citizen.
Turns out she was wrong, and now she faces deportation to her native country, where she knows no one, doesn't speak the language and fears for her life.
"I've been an American all my life," Cohen, a mother of three, said recently in an interview at the federal Northwest Detention Center on Tacoma's Tideflats. She has been there since July 2009.
Cohen faces two big problems in trying to stay in the United States.
Under federal law, she is not a U.S. citizen and never was because her American parents didn't take care of paperwork to make her a citizen when they adopted her as an infant.
And though Cohen is not a citizen, she is a felon – and that set up her deportation with no chance of returning to the United States.
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