International Controversy Brewing in North Bay

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - A Belarus official is threatening to end an all youth exchange programs with the United States as a teen from his country is refusing to the leave Bay Area and go home.

16-year-old Tanya Kazyra, who currently lives in San Rafael with the Zapata family, apparently wants to legally become a member of her host family.

"She calls the brothers and sisters her siblings, and she has definitely been entrenched in their family. She's one of them," says Diane Decicio, president of the Petaluma-based Chernobyl Children's Project.

Decicio's group brings kids, ages seven through 17, from Belarus to the Bay Area for six-week summer visits.

"They've already told us that basically the programs over. We're hoping that maybe after the dust settles we'll get back and have the program," states Decicio.

The controversy has brought agents with the F-B-I, Homeland Security, Immigration, and Customs Enforcement as well as the vice consul of Belarus to the North Bay.



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