Jennifer Haynes, 28, abruptly deported from Chicago in 2008, is eagerly waiting for US president Barack Obama’s visit to Mumbai in the hope that her letter will reach him and she may be able to go home to her husband and children.
In her letter to the president on November 2, Haynes has stated, “Until last year I believed that I was a US citizen. Now I realise that I was a victim of child-trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation.” Her letter was submitted to the US consulate in Mumbai.
Haynes was adopted by an American couple in 1989 at the age of seven. However, her experience in 50 different foster homes was traumatic, she has stated.
DNA had first reported Haynes’ case when she moved the Bombay high court seeking action against her adoption centre, which did not complete the necessary formalities at the time of her adoption and after being booked for a drug felony she was deported to India, 20 years after she had seen it last.
Her husband Justin and children Kadafi, 7, and Kanassa, 6, live in Chicago. Haynes, however, without a passport of either countries, lives in India with no family, no source of income and no documents to avail a job.
“Never did I think I was not an American citizen until I was arrested for a minor drug charge and sent immediately for deportation. Your country which had promised me so much hope, instead treated me like an object to be discarded like damaged goods,” Haynes had said in her letter.
“Can you please help me?” Haynes has asked president Obama. She has also said, “Now I am an American without a country; a lost child who was sent away from my home, my family and my children.”
Sangeeta Punekar of the Advait Foundation and Anjali Pawar of Sakhee, the NGOs supporting Haynes’ case, have also urged Obama to let her go back to the US.