Overcoming Obstacles

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Alejandra* left Caracas, Venezuela over twenty years ago with the desire to study English and tourism in the United States. She had always had a passion for these subjects but had trouble succeeding in her studies while in Venezuela. She arrived with a “suitcase full of dreams,” hoping to advance in her career.

Once she arrived in the United States, she and her family encountered many challenges. Tragically, her daughter, who was born in the United States, was the victim of sexual assault. During these difficult times, Alejandra turned to the church. One day, a congregation member gave testimony of how NY JFON had helped her husband. Alejandra identified with the story and spoke with the woman after the service, who referred her to NY JFON’s Managing Attorney, Thomas “TJ” Mills.

In 2011, Alejandra attended a legal clinic at the La Promesa Presbyterian Mission in Flushing. Because of her daughter’s assault, Alejandra was eligible for a U visa as an indirect victim. The U visa is available for victims of mental or physical abuse who agree to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of that crime. In 2013, she received a U visa as the indirect victim of the sexual assault that her daughter suffered. After three years with a U visa, Alejandra became eligible to apply for a Green Card. In April 2017, she received her Green Card based on her U-visa status.

After another five years, Alejandra became eligible for naturalization. On June 29, 2022, CIS approved her citizenship petition. When asked how she feels about becoming a U.S. citizen, Alejandra said she is “super thankful for my liberty.” She describes her life now as “more relaxed” given her secure status. Her daughter has also found success, despite the challenges she faced; she is now in college and is working. Alejandra is grateful that she can now leave the country to travel, work, and take advantage of all the opportunities the U.S. has to offer.

Alejandra is an enthusiastic supporter of NY JFON’s mission and hopes to contribute to the NY JFON community by volunteering. “I am very, very, very thankful,” she said. “I recommend them [NY JFON] to everyone. I hope to help them [NY JFON] later on, and I hope that they keep helping others. The people deserve their help.”

*Name has been changed to protect the client’s identity. The picture is not of the client.


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