True Stories: Changing Lives by Creating New Beginnings
In April 2009, JH, a 17 year old recent immigrant from Jamaica, was diagnosed with aggressive form of bone cancer, a condition said to be life threatening. JH requested to spend time with his father, OH, a citizen of Jamaica with whom he had lived before moving to the United States.
When OH learned of his son’s condition, he immediately applied for a travel visa to travel to the United States to see his ailing son. OH’s application was denied. IPU appealed the decision, but unfortunately, the appeal was unsuccessful.
Committed to assisting the client, IPU enlisted the assistance of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. With the Senator’s advocacy, OH was finally granted the travel visa. On May 20, OH arrived in New York and was rushed to the hospital to be reunited with his son.
In 1997, Ms. FB, a citizen of the Republic of Guinea, entered the United States with a travel visa. She overstayed her visa and remained in the country. 11 years later she married the father of her four children, who later became a United States Citizen.
Although Ms. FB had entered the US with her passport and visa intact, all of her travel documents were stolen shortly after her arrival. In order for her to get a green card, Ms. FB needed to show that she entered the United States legally.
Franca Kaloko of the IPU intervened just in time. Prior to her meeting with the Immigrant Protection Unit, Ms. FB had been told that she would need to leave the United States in order to adjust her status. IPU advised her against that option. Had she left the country, her unlawful presence in the United States prior to her marriage would have barred her from re-entering the country for ten years.
On June 17, 2009, Ms. Kaloko received the approval notice for Ms. FB’s replacement arrival and departure record. Ms. FB will be able to continue residing in the United States and is now eligible to adjust her status to that of a permanent resident.