Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc.
We represent immigrants who cannot represent themselves

Causes: Advocacy, Migration, Social Justice

Amateur Boxer and Soon-to-Be Father of 7 Granted Green Card in Rare Decision

Sergio is a 32-year-old husband and father of six children with another on the way. Sergio arrived in the United States as a teenager who turned to boxing as a way to cope with being in a new country. He quickly made his way up the ranks competing against well-known boxers in the region

In April of 2019, a fire destroyed the home where Sergio and his family were living along with all of their possessions. Despite the devastation, Sergio’s fighting spirit and resiliency motivated him to find a new home for his family, but times were tough. Later that year as the Christmas season approached, Sergio could not afford to pay the family’s rent, much less buy gifts for his children. The best paying job opportunity was working a construction job out of town, but Sergio knew the risk of encountering U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints along the way. Feeling as though he had no other means of providing for his family, Sergio took the risk. His greatest fear was realized and he was taken into Border Patrol custody. Sergio spent months at an immigration detention center during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. Sergio is the financial provider for his family, as his wife is the caretaker for his children. While Sergio was in detention, his wife was unable to work because she could not afford to pay for childcare. The family was evicted from their home and Sergio’s wife and their five children at the time were forced to live in the family’s SUV. Sergio’s wife parked the SUV in the parking lot of the ICE detention center so that she would be close to her husband and do whatever she could to try to secure his release.

It was in the lobby of the ICE detention center where she encountered DMRS Attorney Jesus Guereca. She explained the situation and he agreed to take the case. Jesus was able to secure the lowest possible bond to get Sergio released. Jesus and his legal assistant Maria Najera also worked together to secure a work permit for Sergio, which allowed him to work legally in the U.S. while his case played out in immigration court. The family moved into a new home and welcomed their sixth child. Sergio’s wife and older children also started receiving mental health services for the trauma they experienced while Sergio was detained. Jesus’ legal strategy was to convince an immigration judge to cancel Sergio’s deportation order, which would eliminate the risk of him being deported in the future. The process would also grant Sergio status as a Lawful Permanent Resident. This is a process that is rarely granted in immigration court, but Jesus and Maria believed it was the best option for Sergio and his family. On August 11, 2021 Sergio, his wife and his children were present when a judge granted the rare decision! Sergio is now a Lawful Permanent Resident, his work permit is up-to-date allowing him to continue to work to support his family, and he is no longer at risk of deportation. The family is also celebrating the anticipated arrival of a 7th child!

Sergio’s case required extensive time and effort from Jesus and Maria and it was done at no cost to Sergio and his family. This work is possible because of your regular monetary contributions to DMRS. Thank you for your continued generosity and support. You are changing lives and this is just one example of how you are doing it. On our own behalf, and on behalf of Sergio, his wife and his children, THANK YOU and God bless you.

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