Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Immigration Reflections

            Immigration services saw the most growth in 2012. When the year began, Catholic Charities had offices located in Charleston and Greenville. A new office was opened in Hilton Head and an additional location was opened in Greenville. Clinics were held to help several hundred individuals apply for temporary legal status and work authorization. Additionally, our Associate Director of Immigration Services, Emily Guerrero, received an award in November from the American Inns of Court, Petigru Chapter in Charleston for her philanthropic work. Whew! We’re tired just saying all of this! You can read about these accomplishments and more in past blog posts. When we asked our Immigration employees to share their favorite stories of 2012, this is what they shared:

 “P is a U.S. citizen married to E. We filed for immigration status for E based on her marriage to P. She had to leave the U.S. and process through Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She took their 1 year old daughter with them. We filed a waiver asking for forgiveness of her previous unlawful presence in the U.S. While the waiver was processing at the U.S. Embassy abroad, E and their daughter were separated from P. P was so upset to be separated from his family, he had to go to a counselor and was diagnosed with depression.  Thankfully, after 10 months, the waiver was approved, and E and their little girl got to come back to the U.S. and be reunited with P.”

 “A long time client of ours from Russia got her permanent residence with our office three years ago based on being the victim of domestic violence by her U.S. citizen husband. He was continually physically and verbally abusive to her while were together. He was particularly physically abusive to her when she was pregnant. Recently, she became eligible to petition for U.S. citizenship and we helped her through this process. She passed the test and became a U.S. citizen.”

To learn more about Immigration services, donating, how you can be involved with this program, or receiving assistance from these offices, please visit our website. We’ll be back on Friday with the Lowcountry and Carter May Home 2012 reviews.

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