Guadalupe was looking to rebuild her life after enduring an abusive marriage. Because her abusive husband was a U.S. Citizen, she was able to self-petition for an Adjustment of Status via the Violence Against Women Act and received her green card in 2014. For five years, Guadalupe worked hard to move past her traumatic experience. She learned English and even started her own cleaning business.
In 2019, Guadalupe was referred to Esperanza Immigration Legal Services (EILS) by a friend who had previously received naturalization legal assistance and became a citizen with our services. Through EILS, she was able to receive a fee waiver for the application, relieving a huge financial burden that otherwise would have stood in the way. Guadalupe attended her naturalization interview at the USCIS office with a member of EILS’ team.
The day of her interview, Guadalupe received the good news that her naturalization was approved. The next day the city shut down due to COVID-19 and she was notified that her oath ceremony notice would be sent through the mail. By the end of May 2020, Guadalupe received her new rescheduled oath ceremony notice and soon after, attended a modified and smaller oath ceremony adhering to CDC guidelines and protocols.
With the help of EILS, Guadalupe was able to get access to the resources she needed to feel protected and free in the United States. She can now feel confident about her status in the country and begin the divorce process. But Guadalupe was perhaps most excited to register to vote and use her voice as a U.S. Citizen.
It’s not enough to see a problem – we are compelled in dark times to take action. Generosity inspires us. Community and connection move us forward.