Monthly Archives: March 2011
All days are busy, yet Thursday, March 31st was an especially busy day filled with lots of life-changing appointments. In the morning I did two naturalization cases (applying for U.S. citizenship). Both clients were from Mexico and had been our clients for a number of years and we did the paperwork on both cases to get their green cards. Both were extremely excited to apply for U.S. citizenship – the ultimate goal of an immigrant.
In the afternoon I saw a woman from the Dominican Republic who had entered the U.S. in 2005 with her immigrant visa (green card) based on the filing of her U.S. citizen sister in 1991. In 2005 Amigos Center filed for her adult son who had remained behind in the Dominican Republic due to falling out of his USC aunt’s case due to his age. Last Thursday the Dominican mother was filing the final paperwork with the Department of State so that her son will finally be able to get his interview in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to then enter the U.S. with an immigrant visa/green card and join his mother, father, and younger sibling.
After that I saw a woman from the United Kingdom who had been in the U.S. since she was 9 years old on a work visa through her parents. The work visa had just expired and her parents and younger sibling will be returning to the United Kingdom. The young woman had married a U.S. citizen and so I filed all the paperwork (6 applications in total) to get her a work permit and then her green card through the marriage. I explained to her that then she will be able to apply for naturalization in a little less than 3 years from getting the green card and then she can apply for her parents and sibling to come back to the U.S.
Finally I saw a 16 year old Mexican girl who had been brought into the U.S. as a young child and she now has her immigrant visa/green card appointment in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in a few weeks. I had been working on the case since 2005. I prepared the final paperwork for her and her green-card holding father to take to the interview in Mexico. She should be back in the U.S. within a week with her green card.
United Way has once again reached their campaign goal of $8,024,330 under the direction of campaign chairwoman, Pat O’Donnell. Pat O’Donnell is also an active member of the Amigos en Cristo Board of Directors.
Amigos Center is a proud partner of United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades, who generously contributes $30,000 annually to help support the Immigration ministry of Amigos Center.
At the goal announcement O’Donnell said, “I am thrilled to announce that the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades has reached its campaign goal for the 18th consecutive year!
“Our generous community has done it again! Despite the difficult economy, you dug deep to give what you could to help our friends and neighbors who are hurting, out of work, or ill. In the toughest economy that we have faced in many years, you gave so others could look forward to a better life. I am so proud of our community.
“What is more important than the fact that we made our goal is that the 72 United Way Partner Agencies will receive their full allocation of funds. The needs in our community have increased significantly in these troubled times. Many agencies have lost funding from both government and private sources. United Way Partner Agencies’ 160 programs will be fully funded and hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens will receive the help they need.
“Thank you to all of the individuals, companies, communities and partner agencies for your generous contributions. You proved once again what a caring community this is.”
Marisol, Case Worker in Bonita, shared how one day, three of the many clients stood out in her mind.
One man came in shaking, desperate and scared as he was given child enforcement letters. He thought he was going to be arrested and sent to jail. He had been paying child support and didn’t understand the benefit of going through the legal system.
Another man came in who was scared and desperate, thinking he would never see his three kids again. He was being falsely accused for domestic violence and he needed a lawyer he couldn’t afford.
An American woman also came in scared, lost, and hopeless as she lost her job and was being evicted. She felt as if there was no hope and didn’t know what steps to take.
All of these cases, though different, shared a common thred of fear, desperation, and hopelessness. Besides all the practical help Marisol gave to help get these individuals, she also prayed with them, shared with them hope from God’s Word, and encouraged them to get involved in a local church.
At the end of the day, Marisol thought about how the hope we have in Jesus is the most important thing to help any of us through every day life. This is the hope we give to the individuals and families we serve every day at Amigos en Cristo.
The Elders of Hope Lutheran Church in Bonita Springs hosted a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper fundraiser to help support the work of Amigos en Cristo. Over a hundred people participated in spite of the rain.
Thank you Hope Lutheran for your continual support of the ministry and for finding unique ways to give back to the community.
On March 1st, Christina Leddin gave an immigration talk to the clients of F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here) of Sanibel.
Thanks to the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades County, we have the opportunity to partner with other agencies and
best reach the community as we work together to serve.