Minnesota Doctor Fights to Stay in U.S.

September 14, 2017 10:59 PM

As Dr. Guan Lee walks up the sidewalk of the Bishop Henry Whipple Building in Saint Paul, you notice her stature.

She's a small woman. But she has a smile and strength about her.

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"I just have that peace," she said. "No matter what happens, it's going to be OK."

Lee came to U.S. at the age of 16 on a student visa from Malaysia. For years now, she's had to meet with I.C.E. once a month to check in. 

She said the threat of deportation has increased.

And with that, she walked off with a friend and her lawyer to meet with immigration and customs enforcement. 

She knew walking in that she might not come out.

In the 25 years she's lived in the U.S., she's gotten two degrees and finished medical school in 2004.

Once that happened, she went to the local Citizenship and Immigration Services office to change her status from student to green card.

"They realized they'd given me the wrong forms in 2004," she said. "That's the whole thing (that) started ... this deportation process."

Even after passing a citizenship test, Lee has been receiving deportation letters. Instead of her oath ceremony, she got a denial and notice to appear in court - placing her in removal proceedings. 

"Since 2012, I have been representing her every year," Lee's attorney Malee Ketelsen-Renner said. "I have been making applications to the U.S. Immigration and Customs office for stay of removal."

The response to her most recent letter, in part, says her status has not been changed.

After meeting with I.C.E., Lee walked outside with the same smile she had when she went inside.

This time, though, she got both good and bad news on her immigration status.

She has a 30-day extension, which gives her time to appeal again before she has to face a serious chance of being deported. 

Credits

Todd Wilson

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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