Maria’s Story

Maria watched the news as United States citizen children were being separated from their deported parents. She watched with sorrow knowing it could have been her family being torn apart. Maria tells her young son they should be thankful this is not happening to them. It is difficult for her young son to comprehend how a child who is a citizen just like himself could be separated from a parent.

Maria came to the Immigration Legal Assistance Project seeking assistance with the process of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident. She chose to come to the Immigration Project because the Project helped several of her family members obtain lawful immigration status over the last decade. Maria trusted the Immigration Project to help her with her case.

Maria’s eldest son was serving in the U.S. Military abroad. The fact that he was serving abroad made it difficult for him to answer the request for additional evidence that came from the Immigration Service on the Applications filed by him for his mother. To make matters worse, the request from Immigration was clearly issued in error.

Both of her sons worried as to why the process was taking so long because their mother was illegal and in the current climate where reports of ICE raids were in the news and deportation a looming fear, they knew their mother could be separated from her young son if she wasn’t processed by USCIS and received her legal immigration status.

With the help of the Immigration Project, Maria was able to respond to the government’s request in a timely fashion. This led to her applications for legal permanent residency being approved by USCIS. Maria feels gratitude for our Project and feels at Peace. She is able to join the workforce and not be afraid of reprisal for being in the U.S. illegally. She is the last one in her family to gain Legal Status. Her parents are U.S. Citizens but could not help her gain legal status because of the 25 year wait for a Visa to become available under the Visa category “adult unmarried children of U.S. Citizens from Mexico.” She no longer has to fear being separated from her young son.