Community support for Fremont family facing deportation

Tatiana & EugeneThere seems to be a groundswell of support for Tatiana Miroshnik and Eugene Kotelnikov, her 16-year-old son, who have been served deportation papers to return to Russia by June 18.

Miroshnikov moved to Fremont 13 years ago and married a U.S. citizen but divorced before she had obtained her green card. She appealed, but the court decided this year not to grant her or her son permanent residency. (Eugene was 3 when he came to the U.S.)

Many members of Centerville Presbyterian Church, where Miroshnikov plays the violin, have been rallying for her to stay. They say a woman like Miroshnikov — a single mother who isn’t on welfare nor harmed anyone, and who has given back to the community by performing in various local music groups and promoting music education in schools — shouldn’t be targeted by U.S. immigration officials.

If she is deported, Miroshnikov would leave behind her U.S.-born daughters, ages 10 and 8, and cannot return to the United States for at least 10 years.

Tomorrow, classmates of the son at Washington High plan to march to Rep. Pete Stark’s Fremont office after school, about a mile-and-a-half from campus.

Helen Paris, activities director at Washington High, said leadership students are calling on the entire student body to join them in asking Stark to use his political clout to keep Eugene and his mother from being deported. (Eugene no longer speaks Russian and considers himself American.)

“My student leaders … felt they couldn’t just sit on the fence and do nothing. They couldn’t just sit and cry,” Paris said.

In addition to Friday’s march, students are planning other events to drum up support for Eugene and his family. They hope to stage rallies from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue and to hold a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m. next Wednesday in front of the school.

Many of those same students have joined the Facebook group “Help Stop Cruel Deportation,” dedicated to Miroshnikov’s cause. The page was set up yesterday, and 481 people have become members.

Meanwhile, Centerville Presbyterian Church has set up an e-mail address for people wishing to get more information about the situation. The address is Tatiana.support@cpcfremont.org.

Linh Tat


  1. Matt; how high up did her appeal go? Did the appeal end at the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeal)? Or, did it go all the way up to the the Ninth Circuit Court?

  2. This is very sad and is counter to common sense. I believe that if they are here contributing to our society then we should not actively seek people out to deport. That harms our society and the individuals. As a compassionate society we should not deport people because of marital issues.

    On the other hand I do support the Dublin action that if someone is here illegally and commits a crime they should be deported. In this case they are a drag on our society harming citizens and requiring our dollars to jail them.

  3. The rumor is that this young man will be inducted into the Russian Military once he has returned because he is now 16. Very sad.

  4. Why aren’t the Minutemen screaming about how these people need to get out of the country and how they don’t belong? Come on guys, say something about following the laws. Go counter protest.

  5. There was a demonstration at Mowry & Fremont today, I thought it was the Tea Party folks but the banners were saying “Don’t Deport Our Friends”…

  6. Did she pay someone(her ex) to marry her, so that she could get herself and her three-year-old some into this country permanently? More specifically, did she not fulfill the requirements for citizenship in this country, and unlike other men and women who honored those requirements by immediately leaving the country when in the same situation, she chose to stay, and by doing so, put herself in clear violation of U.S. law?

    More importantly, why would she leave her two daughters behind?
    Is it because their father, who is not her ex-husband nor current husband I presume, won’t allow her to? Why not? and why aren’t they married?

    Could we get any of these questions asked?

  7. Well, immigration law is a federal law. I honestly don’t think that Pete Stark could really help except writing a letter to the USCIS expressing his concern, if he is willing to. That will not change any facts.

    Before marrying a US citizen, a foreigner could be granted a K visa to enter the States and marry the US Citizen within 30 days (or 90 days) after admission to the country.

    After marrying a US citizen, a spouse is given a ‘conditional green card’ of two years before a permanent green card is issued. This is to rule out fake marriages. If a divorce happens during a ‘conditional green card’ period, the alien spouse loses the green card status unless he/she could prove abusive relationship, etc., is the cause of separation and the alien spouse is the victim of the abuse. – If she falls in this category, she probably didn’t get a good lawyer.

    She could take her US born children with her if she wishes to, however, people usually come here for a better live.

    As to her current marriage condition, it seems to be a private matter. If she is currently married to a US citizen, she could probably pay a fine and adjust her status, or maybe this option is no longer available.

    We all feel for her and her son, I wish there could be some fine she could pay to stay, otherwise, laws are LAWS.

  8. Facebook Group membership now at 1536.

    Why do “these people have to leave the country”? If over 1500 in their community don’t want them to leave, explain “how they don’t belong”?

    “The law is the law” was the citizens’ excuse for not stepping in to prevent the slaughter of the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis.

    If, come the day of their deportation, all 1500 supporters surrounded Tatiana and Eugene to protect them, what action would you like to see on the part of law enforcement to get to them? Tear gas? Rubber bullets? Pistols mistaken for tasers? And all this because an honors student and a music teacher’s immigration lawyer dropped the ball on their visa process?


  9. Well Tim, I’m pretty sure most of the latinos that are here “illegally” could get 1500 supporters to voice a desire to allow them to stay. Am I to assume you’d support them also?

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