[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.]
From 2014 to 2020, the Columbus office of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC. Wong worked with Veronica, an undocumented widow from Mexico, to secure for her a U visa that was established to help victims of crime or immediate family members who are victims of crime and are willing to assist law enforcement authorities in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.
In Veronica’s case, the circumstances were that her late husband, Ted, had owned an automotive body shop in a city just south of Columbus. An honest man himself, Ted was, however, very aware of how organized crime prospered by stealing and stripping cars and then selling the parts to other body shops at reduced prices.
Before he died of natural causes in 2013, Ted kept Veronica up to date on all illegal happenings going on with the body shops in their community and Veronica, who worked in the front office of her husband’s business, had witnessed some dubious happenings herself.
After Ted unexpectedly passed from a sudden heart attack, the hoodlums paid a visit to Veronica, slapped her several times, and told her that if she were to go to the authorities then she and her young son, David, would at their peril.
Fortunately, however, the hooligans were not as organized as they thought they were, and Veronica was able to keep the local police informed of suspicious activities. In turn, the investigating officers suggested that Veronica explore the possibility of obtaining a U visa so she could continue to operate Ted’s enterprise, as she had been doing, without fear of being taken into custody by immigration authorities; so, to seek help, Veronica went to the auspices of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC.
Upon examination of Veronica’s history in the United States, we knew that the acquisition of documented status would be difficult because, even though she was both the widow and the mother of U.S. citizens and David had several medical issues, she also was subject to deportation due to several illegal entries into the United States, that had occurred years ago, and a claim made by ICE that she had lied about her status by pretending to be a U.S. citizen although Veronica adamantly denied this.
Eventually our team was able to successfully refute the claim made by ICE and present compelling evidence that Veronica had suffered psychological trauma due to the beating and the threats imposed upon she and David by the criminal element. What’s more, Veronica’s testimonials proved to be of great assistance to prosecutors who were making real progress in curbing the corruption.
Accordingly, in 2015, after securing the signature of the lead prosecutor, we were able to file an I-918 (Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status) as well as an I-192 (Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant if a U Visa is Involved) which halted the deportation proceedings.
Due to the backlog at USCIS, it took until late 2020 to have the U visa approved but by then, in no small part due to Veronica, most of the wrong doers had been placed being bars where they belonged, and Veronica was doing quite well in managing the business left to her by Ted who would have really been proud of her.