[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 2011, the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong teams in both Cleveland and Columbus started working with a mother and daughter who fled Honduras in 1998 to escape conditions that were violent and deplorable.
Debra, the mother, had been forced into sex trafficking at an early age. Eventually she managed to flee with her young daughter, Marissa, and make her way to the United States. Soon thereafter, they settled in Northeast Ohio where Debra worked for years in the agricultural/nursery industry while Marissa attended school where she excelled as an honor student.
Since life in the United States was the only life that Marissa had known, and Debra feared deportation (i.e. even under President Obama) she eventually sought the help of the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong team who filed petitions for asylum and 10-year cancellation of removal on her behalf.
Of course, Debra was way outside the one-year time limitation for filing asylum, but we argued that, as a sex-trafficking victim she suffered from PTSD and, for many years, could only focus on survival for herself and her daughter.
As for Marissa, even though ICE had granted her deferred action, we still applied and managed to get her into the DACA program which offered increased protection. At this time, Marissa has almost completed college and will soon have a BA in chemistry.
Debra is still waiting for final decisions on her cases but, ironically, she is hampered because Marissa is now legally an adult and is doing fine so her deportation would not adversely affect her daughter but certainly cause a lot of sorrow.
Otherwise, Debra meets the other conditions for a 10-Year Cancellation of Removal that involve her living in the United States for at least ten years and being an upstanding member of the community because she has never accrued so much as a speeding ticket in terms of criminal behavior.
As for asylum, our team has built a powerful argument that as an unaccompanied woman Debra would be at danger if forced to return to Honduras where she will surely be targeted by those who exploited her years ago.
Accordingly, the Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong team will continue to advocate for both women immensely encouraged by the determination of incoming President Biden to constructively address issues related to immigration.