Family dealing with tragedy in middle of immigration nightmare - CBS46 News

Family dealing with tragedy in middle of immigration nightmare

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Gertrudis Reyes brought her granddaughter, Carolyn, to escape their sadness in Italy, but now she's afraid they will have to go back.

Reyes only speaks Italian, so her friend translated for CBS Atlanta News.

In the spring, Reyes' only child and Carolyn's mother was murdered. She carries with her Italian newspaper clippings showing the news coverage. Reyes said her daughter's fiance is charged with the killing and he threatened to go after her. She said her daughter's murderer called her (Reyes) as he was killing her.

Reyes said an Italian court gave her custody of her granddaughter. In September, Reyes brought Carolyn to the U.S. Reyes has worked in the U.S. before and has a green card. She brought Carolyn, 2, in with a tourist visa.

This week, a U.S. immigration officer told Reyes when Carolyn's visa expires, they must go back to Italy to satisfy immigration requirements and then come back to the U.S. Reyes said she is worried about the emotional and financial toll on her and her granddaughter.

Reyes said she thought immigration officers would understand and let her stay. She said she is concerned for her and her daughter's safety in Italy.

Carolyn turns 3 years old on Dec. 22. It will be her first birthday without her mom.

The federal agency that oversees cases like this will not talk about specific people. Carolyn's visa expires Jan. 19.

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