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INS drops deportation effort, doesn't tell woman

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001

JACKSONVILLE -- First, Carolina Murry didn't know she wasn't an American citizen, so she voted in elections.

Then she found out she wasn't a citizen and faced deportation for voting illegally.

Now, she has learned that the Immigration and Naturalization Service decided weeks ago to drop the charges. It just never bothered to tell her.

The discovery means the 34-year-old Dominican Republic native won't face deportation, can continue applying to become a naturalized citizen and can breathe a littler easier.

"All this time I could have been a little bit relaxed," Murry said.

When Murry moved to Arkansas from the Dominican Republic at age 3, her father was a U.S. serviceman married to a Dominican woman. He thought some papers he signed transferred Carolina's and a sister's citizenship.

She learned three years ago that she wasn't a citizen. She took steps to become one, but in an interview told an INS officer she had voted. In January the INS told her she would be deported.

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