Note: all names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.
In 1995, Mr. Arroyo–a legal permanent resident since 1990–sought the services of a notario to file a relative petition and green card application for his wife, despite the fact that spouses of legal permanent residents from Mexico have a two-year waiting period before they are eligible for a green card. Mrs. Arroyo was denied a green card because she had filed prematurely and was instructed by the notario to wait until she was eligible. Over the next year, Mrs. Arroyo returned to the notario’s office several times to ask for updates, but was charged a $100 fee for each visit and never received clear answers.
Twenty years later, a family member referred Mrs. Arroyo to Latinos Progresando, but because her husband was diagnosed with a terminal disease, she had very little time to adjust her immigration status before Mr. Arroyo passed away; without a qualifying living relative to petition her, Mrs. Arroyo would become ineligible to file for legal permanent resident status. Latinos Progresando’s immigration legal services team worked quickly to file her adjustment of status in July 2016, allowing Mrs. Arroyo to receive a work permit in October and her legal permanent resident status in February of this year. Today, with the ability to travel freely, Mrs. Arroyo will be able to fulfill her husband’s wish to be buried in his home state in Mexico.
A twenty-year wait to become a legal permanent resident is not uncommon in immigrant communities depending on the case, but, together, we can work towards change by promoting access to reputable immigration legal service providers. Latinos Progresando’s high-quality affordable immigration legal services are crucial to our community and protect families from falling victim to notario fraud. To support families like the Arroyos, please consider making a donation.
On a walk-in basis, Latinos Progresando’s immigration legal services program had more than 400 client...
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