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Despite difficult beginning, woman is thriving with family by her side

Many people dream of coming to the United States. In some countries, work is difficult to find or war has torn the country apart. It can be an opportunity of a lifetime to come to the United States and gain citizenship. Although the process is good for some, that wasn't that case for one woman who came to the U.S. from Cameroon.

The woman was brought into the U.S. with the promise of good paying job, as well as a safe place to live. In her native African nation of Cameroon, work is scarce. The lure of a steady income was too much for her to resist and she made the trip, being hired by a Greensboro family, originally from Cameroon, as a nanny. Upon her arrival, the family took her from the airport to their home where she was virtually held as a prisoner for five months.

The room she stayed in had only a bed inside of it. She was given two uniforms to wear and told not to unpack her own clothing. She was allowed only two meals a day. For five months, the woman slept on the same, unwashed sheets.

She was there to take care of an infant and a young girl with disabilities. She would have to carry the young girl to the bus and eventually became injured from all the heavy lifting. When her employer didn't listen to her complaints, she called an ambulance.

The woman was taken to the hospital, but after her stay the family she was working for didn't come to pick her up. A policeman took her back to the home to collect her belongings and was horrified at the conditions she was forced to live in. The police officer called social services and the woman was eventually able to connect with various organizations that helped her gain employment and housing. Three of her children have also been brought to the United States.

The woman says she does not hold any grudges towards the family that originally brought her to the United States and says she is living happily with her three children.

Luckily, things have worked out for this woman, but that isn't always the case. Anyone struggling with immigration issues may wish to consult with an experienced attorney. The attorney may be able to help sort matters out and assist individuals and families in gaining citizenship.

Source: Associated Baptist Press, "Trafficking: False promises, desperation lure woman," Norman Jameson, Nov. 23, 2011

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