Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Immigrant Woman Sees 'Cloudy' Future Ahead

Sherin Inniss, 51, came to New York from Guyana in 2006. In 2001, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) began recruiting Caribbean teachers to come work in the city's public schools. Inniss's husband was one of these teachers. He passed away two years after arriving in America.

Left to raise two sons on her own, her sorrow was aggravated by the fact that the immigration status Inniss and her children enjoyed passed with her husband. The Social Security he paid into was not offered to his family, as they are not permanent residents.

Inniss is sponsored by Tuoro College to work. The boys are covered under her H-1B work visa that depends on continued employement with Tuoro College. She is an accounting tutor, but it is not consistent work. She brings in about $800 a month. The family was homeless for a while. They are crowded in a friend's living room for now, paying $400 a month, but the friend wants his space back soon.

“It's like you're seeing a cloudy glass,” said Inniss, describing how she feels when looking into her future. “You can't see clearly what's happening on the other side.”

Her eldest son is 16 years old and hopes to attend college. At a loss for what to do, Inniss says her son “gets very, very depressed.” Inniss, along with other Caribbeanteachers recruited by the DOE, continue to petition the city to fulfill what they feel are the “broken promises” of a better life in America.

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