WTLC provides free immigration assistance to individuals who have been survivors of crime. Victims of qualifying criminal activity may be eligible to receive assistance with applying for immigration protections such as a U-Visa or T-Visa. Survivors of domestic violence who are the child, parent or current/former spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who caused them harm, may be eligible to receive assistance to self-petition for permanent resident status under VAWA.
Andrea first came to the United States in early 2018 on a work visa. While working, she met the father of her child, John. The relationship was fast-paced and not too long after they had started dating did Andrea find out she was pregnant. After the birth of their child, Jane, John married Andrea and demanded she quit her job and stay home to care for Jane. Not wanting to cause waves, Andrea agreed, and consequently lost her work visa. Having no lawful status and being left jobless Andrea became dependent on John. John at first would leave some money to buy necessities but soon that money became less and less to the point that Andrea would often starve herself in order to be able to buy Jane’s necessities like diapers and formula. Whenever Andrea would bring up the fact to John that she needed food or money it would result in John exploding and leaving Andrea and Jane at the apartment for days without access to a car, phone, or money.
In mid-2019 Andrea finally made the decision to leave John after he threatened Andrea with immigration and deportation, pushed and physically injured Andrea, and John attempted to take Jane with him while intoxicated. Afraid for her safety and Jane, since she believed, custody would only go to a US citizen like John, Andrea left her home and through the help of the police was able to contract WTLC.
Upon arrival, Andrea was educated on her rights by WTLC’s legal advocates who aided her in filing for a restraining order and custody. As well as aiding her in applying for VAWA status which led her to obtain her permanent residence card. Now Andrea lives a life free from the fear of deportation and her ex-husband and is working toward a brighter future for Jane.
For more information regarding WTLC’s Legal Program please contact: 714-992-1939