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Elza Kochueva, a Brooklyn student, is from Russia and speaks Russian. But she looks Asian.
The young woman and her parents, Mongolian descendants from Russia, say there were persecuted in their homeland because of the way they look and their Buddhist beliefs.
Now the family faces a new crisis: possible deportation. Even as Elza Kochueva, who wants to become a lawyer, prepares to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the fall, she and her parents are fighting a legal battle to remain in in the U.S.
They’ve been waiting for three years for their asylum application to be okayed. But a steep decline in approval for asylum petitions from Russian refugees has raised fears their American Dream will be dashed.