Dreams Do Come True!

Meet Sandra, Joel, and Sandra our featured clients!

Sandra, her son Joel, and daughter Sandra demonstrate the drive and strength of so many of the immigrants we are privileged to meet in our work. They have overcome significant obstacles—and dangers—to support each other in the pursuit of their dreams.

Sandra had had a good life as a grocery store owner in her native Honduras. Unfortunately, the early to mid-2000s witnessed the birth of the devastating crime epidemic that plagues Honduras to this day. Rampant gang violence made it impossible for Sandra to earn a living. As a single mother with no outside support, she faced the extremely painful decision faced by too many Central American parents these days: would she remain in Honduras to be close to her children, but watch them struggle through poverty and violence? Or would risk everything, including her life, to come to the US so that she could find a job that would help her to adequately feed, shelter, and educate her children? Although it broke her heart, Sandra came to the US and placed her children with family members.

Although Sandra found work, her troubles were not over once she came to the US. She met a boyfriend who subjected her to extreme domestic violence. Although she left him, he stalked her relentlessly for years, threatening to have Sandra deported or killed. The psychological torment was extreme, and Sandra took great pains to avoid him, relocating and finding new jobs. Ultimately, the man was arrested and Sandra assisted in his prosecution.

As a survivor of crime who reached out to and collaborated with law enforcement, Sandra was able to apply for U nonimmigrant status (“U visa”). This is an important immigration benefit that protects immigrant victims of crime who report criminal activity. Through her U visa, Sandra was able to get work authorization. She began working in La Cocinita food truck, and she has been able to return to her entrepreneurial ways to become a part owner of La Cocinita. La Cocinita serves up delicious Latin flavors throughout New Orleans, and now La Cocinita plans to open a restaurant in Chicago!

Sandra was able to reunite with Joel and Sandra, who are both in school. Sandra just started college, while Joel is working on his nursing degree. It has been a true privilege to work with them and to watch them fight for and live their American Dream. Congratulations Sandra, Joel, and Sandra!

And check out La Cocinita grin

P+B Support Court 13 to Bring “Explosive” Mexican Artists and Art to New Orleans

​We are extremely proud to have collaborated with local arts nonprofit Court 13 (which produced the movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild”) to bring members of the Mexican arts collective Artsumex and film producer Tonitzen Gómez to participate in Court 13’s annual Always for Pleasure Festival (AFP) in New Orleans from November 16 - 21.

Court 13, Director Viktor Jakovlevski, Tonitzen, and their talented team of filmmakers will be showing their new documentary “Brimstone and Glory” on Tuesday, November 21, at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans as one of the featured events of this year’s 5-day festival. The film documents the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico. The festival is a weeklong celebration of San Juan de Dios, who is the patron saint of firework makers. Pyrotechnicians and other artists use the occasion to share their virtuosity in a celebration of the town’s unique and explosive contribution to Mexican culture: it’s estimated that 60% of Tultepec’s workforce participates in the fireworks industry.

Artsumex artists will create a torito, one of the highlights of the Pyrotechnic Festival, to share with us at Always for Pleasure. They and Tonitzen will also discuss the film at the screening on November 21.

Here’s the trailer for “Brimstone and Glory”:

Here’s the schedule for AFP:

We hope to see you there!

Immigrant Visa Issued to Dennis in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Meet our featured client, Dennis. Dennis first came to the United States in 2006 in search of work and a means to provide for his mother in Honduras. Several years after his arrival to the U.S., Dennis fell in love with his wife Michele, a U.S. citizen, and they were married in 2012. The couple’s first child was born in 2014, and soon after the family began the process of securing Dennis’ lawful status in the United States, beginning with the filing of an I-130 spousal petition. Upon USCIS’s approval of the I-130 petition, Dennis submitted an I-601A waiver for the unlawful presence he had accumulated while residing in the U.S without authorization.

Several months later, USCIS approved Dennis’ I-601A waiver, which was based on hardship to his family if he were not granted the benefit of lawful status in the U.S. The final step in the process was the required consular interview in Honduras.

The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras granted Dennis’ immigrant visa and lawful permanent resident status the day of his recent visa interview. Dennis then shared this snapshot of himself outside the Embassy, approval notice in hand!

(Dennis pre-approved this posting.)

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