[Please note: The Client’s name and case key details may have been altered to preserve the identity of the client. This Success Story is not intended to be an offer of service or case plan. Every case is unique. The Success Story is presented for information purposes only.]
In early 2018, the Margaret W. Wong team in Cleveland started working with Renata, an undocumented woman from Mexico, who had been living in the United States since 2000 with her family but had recently lost her husband, Mateo, due to illness. To compound her problems, she had just received her first NTA (Notice to Appear) before immigration authorities.
Accordingly, our team filed an I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal) on her behalf. Some months later, in October of 2018, Renata and her three children, all born in the United States and therefore U.S. citizens, attended her asylum hearing along with a legal representative from the Margaret W. Wong team.
At the hearing Renata, who by now spoke very good English, explained that she and Mateo, a successful accountant, entered the United States in September of 2000 on B-2 visas intending to take an extended honeymoon. Soon after their arrival, however, Renata became pregnant and started to experience complications; therefore, she had to be bedridden at the home of friends who lived in Northeast Ohio.
Her child, a boy named Gael, was born in late 2001 with a disease called Stickler Syndrome meaning that he would need continuous medical treatment which was provided by a nearby clinic as well as home care which was provided by Renata.
Meanwhile, Mateo became a freelance accountant serving Hispanic businesses in the Northeast Ohio area to support his family that was soon to include two more children born respectively in 2005 and 2009.
In late 2017, however, Mateo took ill and passed. Shortly thereafter, Renata received the NTA. Over the years, she had grown increasingly afraid of deportation especially during the U.S. Presidency of Donald Trump. Renata was also afraid of having to return to Mexico where her children, especially Gael because he was weak and vulnerable, might be harassed by gangs.
On this issue, Renata displayed several letters from family/friends, still living in the region of Mexico from which she came, regarding increasingly dire criminal activity and the local government’s inability to put a stop to it. Renata was also very afraid that Gael would not be able to receive the medical care he needed in Mexico and might even be institutionalized.
To be sure, the immigration judge listened sympathetically to Renata’s story, but our legal representative sensed there would be problems because Renata had waited so long to apply for asylum which should have been done within a year of her arrival in the United States.
Therefore, our team decided to not withdraw Renata’s asylum application but to expand possibilities by filing a 42B (Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents) since Renata certainly met the criteria of being present in the United States for at least ten years; having no criminal record except several vehicular violations long ago disposed of; and had a child, a United States citizen, who was very dependent upon her for his well-being if not survival.
Our team knew that the 42B would take years to be approved so in the interim, we arranged for Renata to be granted an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) so that she could support her family in the interim. Along these lines, Mateo had taught her a lot about accounting, so she was able to successfully take over management of his clients.
In early April of 2021, the 42B that we filed for Renata was approved and, although there were several other steps that would have to be taken before she could obtain a green card these would be abetted by Gael who would soon be twenty-one and eager to sponsor his mom, who had given him so much.
As for Renata, she continued to work from home and take care of her kids, the youngest were by now teenagers with minds of their own.
Most importantly, though, Renata could now live without fear of deportation, which made her a lot more relaxed and able to perform her duties more efficiently.
As for our team in Cleveland, we withdrew the asylum application and got ready for the next phase in our relationship with Renata, which we hope will ultimately end with her becoming a United States citizen in just a few years.