For years, they were here legally and yet in limbo. They worked hard, running a janitorial company, managing a fast-food restaurant, paying taxes, going to school and hoping to receive more permanent status.

Dear Canada,

I read recently that you have a labor shortage.

I know a family here in North Florida that would love to work and live and study in Canada.

Well, truth be told, they’d love to do all of that right here.

No offense. But this feels like home to them. Especially to their two girls. This really is the only place they know. Jacksonville, Florida, America.

Both of the girls have been involved in Junior ROTC at Nease High School. They love this country, although I certainly wouldn’t blame them if they have some conflicting emotions about it right now.

Last week one of them, Medina, sang the national anthem during Military Appreciation Day at The Players Championship.

Medina wants to join the U.S. Navy and become an anesthesiologist.

These days she is trying to accept that this probably won’t happen.

She will graduate next week from high school with her friends.

She and her parents, Elvir and Amra, will be deported next month to Bosnia — unless they can make an alternative plan work. A work visa for Canada.

“It’s better than going to Bosnia,” Amra Blekic said. “Medina would be lost. I’m not sure what she would do there. In Canada, she could have a future.”

Elvir grew up in Bosnia but left in the early 1990s during the Civil War. Amra grew up in Germany and has never been to Bosnia.

They came to America in 2008. They entered the country legally, with visitor visas. Several members of Elvir’s family — his parents, two brothers — already were living here as U.S. citizens. They