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From Hardship to Hope

Another APILO success story
David and Senior Staff Attorney Nancy

David and Senior Staff Attorney Nancy

David P. was born in the Yucatan, Mexico, in 1990. With his parents often absent, David, the eldest of four, grew up under the care of his grandmother. Determined to support his family, he worked various jobs in Mexico, but it wasn’t enough. At 15, David made the life-changing decision to move to the United States, hoping to earn more to support his grandmother and three younger siblings. He crossed the border and reunited with his uncle in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, David tried to balance high school and work but eventually dropped out to work full-time, sending his earnings back home. In April 2010, while waiting at a bus stop to escort a friend home, David was attacked by four large individuals. Standing at 4’10” and weighing 130 pounds, David was vulnerable. Just a month earlier, he had been robbed of his paycheck by local gang members.

In 2015, desperate for help, David reached out to API Legal Outreach (APILO). Christine Hoang, a former staff attorney, helped him apply for a U visa, designed for crime victims who assist law enforcement. After a five-year wait, David’s U visa was approved by USCIS in February 2020.

In May 2022, David turned to APILO again, this time for assistance with applying for lawful permanent resident status (a green card). Senior Staff Attorney Nancy Hing Wong took on his case, guiding him through the application process. Despite holding three jobs – at a local Chinese restaurant, a grocery store, and a catering business – David remained dedicated to supporting his family back in Mexico.

Finally, in April 2024, David’s green card was approved. Overjoyed and grateful to APILO, David is now planning to visit his family, whom he hasn’t seen in almost twenty years. David’s journey is a testament to hard work, persistence, and the indomitable spirit of immigrants who contribute to the greatness of the United States.

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Founded in 1975, the mission of API Legal Outreach is to provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate legal representation, social services, and advocacy for the most marginalized segments of the community including low-income women, seniors, recent immigrants, and youth.

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