A Cross-Country Journey

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Elizabeth (left) and Yolanda (right)

When Elizabeth, originally from the Dominican Republic, moved from New York to Texas in 2010, she never expected she would meet the love of her life on Facebook. Yet in 2014, Elizabeth connected with Yolanda, a recent immigrant from Mexico, on the social media platform. After initiating conversation virtually, Yolanda and Elizabeth met in person. Two years later, the couple married in Texas. While the marriage was a joyous occasion, legal difficulties regarding Yolanda’s precarious immigration status negatively affected the happy couple. Because Yolanda lacked legal work authorization, she was only able to find unreliable informal employment. In search of more opportunity, the couple moved to New York in 2019, where they lived with Elizabeth’s mother.

Once they settled in New York, Yolanda and Elizabeth began searching for legal assistance to help Yolanda acquire legal work authorization. “No one wanted to take our case,” Yolanda recalls. After repeated rejection from various attorneys, Yolanda and Elizabeth were referred to NY JFON. They attended an NY JFON clinic, where they met Thomas “TJ” Mills, NY JFON’s Managing Attorney. “With Thomas, it finally felt like we found someone to listen to us and work with us. He worked so hard to help us,” says Elizabeth. Yolanda praises Thomas for “taking the time to understand my immigration journey.” With TJ’s help, Yolanda successfully filed and received legal work authorization.

With this first stepping stone in place, Yolanda was finally on the path towards receiving a Green Card. With NY JFON by their side, Yolanda was finally granted a Green Card in August of 2021. Since receiving the Green Card, Elizabeth and Yolanda have moved to Pennsylvania, where they are setting roots and growing their family.

     “NY JFON changed our life forever. Forever,” says Elizabeth. “Thank God for NY JFON, as it is the only way we have what we have right now.”


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