A Family Reunited

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Juan (middle) with his two daughters and his two granddaughters

  Juan Jesus immigrated from Cuba to New York with his wife and youngest daughter in 2013. In 2015, they came into contact with JFON founder Lilia Fernandez, who referred them to the services of NY JFON. By this time, Juan Jesus was going through the process of petitioning for his eldest daughter and two granddaughters to join him and the rest of their family through the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program. The request was approved in 2017, and the family was soon to be joyously reunited. However, both inconvenient circumstances and tragic developments were going to soon encumber their reunification efforts.   

 On the very day of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, he and his administration revoked the Cuban Family Reunification Parole. This sudden change in policy meant that Juan’s daughter and granddaughter no longer had a legal avenue to enter the United States to reunite with their family. With the CFRP program no longer active, Juan’s daughter and granddaughters languished in Cuba. While the revocation of the CFRP was deeply unfortunate and frustrating, personal tragedy came the family’s way in 2019, when Juan’s wife was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Knowing that she didn’t have much time left, Juan petitioned for the girls to come to the United States on an urgent humanitarian parole visa. After going through the arduous task of filing a new petition, the request was finally approved in December 2020. However, the time it took to go through the bureaucracy of being approved for humanitarian parole took its toll on the family’s reunification effort. Juan’s wife passed away three weeks before the girls were set to enter the U.S.     

While the family was able to reunite, it was unfortunately not in time for Juan’s eldest daughter and granddaughter to say goodbye. On working with Managing Attorney TJ, Juan says, ” He was not just a lawyer, he was a friend and a guide. This organization was a blessing in my family’s life.” Today, Juan’s daughter and her two children live in Miami while Juan lives in New Jersey with his youngest daughter, who is attending college.

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