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Guiding an Elderly Client to Citizenship Amidst Challenges

Project Update: Elder and Disability Rights Project

We are thrilled to share with you a heartwarming success story that truly underscores the Elder/YAD team’s commitment to our elderly clients and the lengths we go to ensure justice and fairness prevail. This remarkable journey revolves around a 74-year-old Filipino client who recently achieved U.S. citizenship against all odds.

Guiding an Elderly Client to Citizenship Amidst ChallengesOur client’s story began decades ago when she became a Legal Permanent Resident in the 1990s. Despite her desire to become a U.S. citizen, she had faced a previous denial that had dampened her hopes. However, with the resurgence of determination, she approached our office for assistance in her application, setting the wheels in motion for an inspiring tale of perseverance.

Throughout the application process, we left no stone unturned. Our team meticulously prepared her application, offering the expertise and guidance she needed. This dedication paved the way for her naturalization interview, during which an unforeseen twist surfaced. We learned that she had been arrested in connection with a police raid at a bar during the early 2000s, an incident she had not previously disclosed. She maintained that she was working as a waitress, contrary to the initial presumption of involvement in prostitution.

This revelation presented us with an unforeseen challenge. The USCIS issued a Notice of Continuance, requesting court documents related to the arrest. The hurdle was compounded by our client’s limited resources and inability to personally retrieve the records from Los Angeles County. However, undeterred by these obstacles, we rose to the occasion.

Our team’s response was both strategic and compassionate. We crafted and submitted a memorandum of points and authorities to USCIS, outlining the impracticality of their request and presenting our client’s case in a way that highlighted her unique circumstances. This move underscored our commitment to safeguarding our client’s rights while navigating the complexities of the legal process. Our advocacy bore fruit. The strength of our argument not only addressed the agency’s concerns but also brought attention to the client’s exceptional journey. The result was a true testament to our unwavering dedication and the powerful impact of our actions.

With the memorandum filed, the path to citizenship rapidly unfolded. An Oath ceremony notice arrived, marking a significant milestone for our client. On August 16, 2023, she recited the Oath of Allegiance and became a proud U.S. citizen.

Our client’s gratitude was palpable and touching. Her journey encapsulates the essence of our work – transforming adversity into triumph, and granting deserving individuals the opportunities they rightfully deserve. This story isn’t just about achieving citizenship; it’s about overcoming challenges, rewriting narratives, and instilling hope in those we serve.

As we reflect on this success, let it serve as a reminder of the impact we make, the lives we touch, and the futures we shape. Our dedication, empathy, and legal acumen are not just tools; they’re catalysts for transformation and agents of justice.

About the APILO’s Elder and Disability Rights Project:

APILO’s Elder and Disability Rights Project provides legal services in a variety of areas to assist elders and individuals with disabilities to receive public benefits and live a life free from abuse.

The Elder Team works to both to prevent abuse towards elders and people with disabilities and to assist survivors of abuse. We work closely with senior centers, churches, and senior meal sites to keep our services accessible.With a team of exemplary attorneys and dedicated staff, the team provides a wide range of legal services, including naturalization assistance, other immigration cases, Elder Abuse, Estate planning, eviction defense, conservatorship, guardianship, and restraining orders to name a few.

If you want to learn more about what our team does, please feel free to reach out to us.

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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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