Bulgarian-born Niles woman, bestowed U.S. citizenship in 1981, struggles against sea of bureaucratic red tape while worrying she could be deported
By Antonio Olivo, Tribune reporter
February 6, 2010
Because her father was born in Indiana, an American consulate in Bulgaria bestowed U.S. citizenship on Boneva when she was growing up there in 1981. It granted Boneva privileges unavailable to her Bulgarian friends, allowing her to visit relatives in Chicago and then to move to the area in 1997.
Boneva, now 34 and a married mother, settled into a quiet American lifestyle in Niles — until the day a letter arrived from the U.S. State Department, upending her world. In six indifferently worded paragraphs it said, in effect: There was a mistake. You're not an American. more...