Causes: Advocacy, Migration, Social Justice
Our commitment to the immigrant community
[ bih-lawng, -long ]
Used in a sentence:
YOU BELONG in any community of your choosing that ensures you are safe, extends support and opportunities, and allows you to experience joy and peace of mind.
Benis Ntang is from Cameroon, a country she loves dearly, but had to flee in order to stay alive. Benis was recently granted asylum with the help of her DMRS attorney Marysol Castro.
Since arriving in the U.S., Benis met her fiancé, got engaged, and had a baby. She enrolle din school and is on the path to become a nurse. All of this happened in El Paso while Benis was waiting for her asylum case to be decided.
Benis said she was prepared to leave her family behind if her asylum claim was denied and she was forced to return to Cameroon.
“Asylum granted.” Those were the words by an immigration judge that dropped Benis to her knees in the middle of the courtroom. Her entire life literally depended on that decision.
Benis can now remain in the U.S., get married, raise her baby, and finish her education. Most importantly, she is now SAFE.
These are the possibilities when we welcome people with dignity and show them #youbelong.
Gabriel Guzman was born in the Dominican Republic. His father came to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 1992. Soon after, Gabriel’s father petitioned for him and his siblings to enter the U.S. with a green card. Gabriel was 10 years old when he arrived in the U.S. and eventually applied to become a U.S. citizen. More than 26 years later, Gabriel found himself in an immigration detention center in El Paso, Texas attempting to prove his legal status. Gabriel derived his status from his father, who had since passed away. This made the process of proving Gabriel’s status that much more difficult.
Gabriel’s mental health was steadily declining while he remained at the detention center. Ms. Castro worked tirelessly with Gabriel’s relatives, the local passport agency and the local branch of the Social Security Administration to obtain the documents neeed to prove Gabriel’s status.
Finally, good news came. After working closely with the local office of the Social Security Administration, Ms. Castro successfully obtained the documents needed and submitted them to DHS. Just one day later, Gabriel was released from ICE custody and his deportation order was terminated. Gabriel was finally able to reunite with his family after 13 years.
“I am an American citizen and still had to go through such a difficult process. Our rights continue to be violated. Thanks to this organization, I am finally back with my family and enjoying my freedom. It would not have been possible without people like Marysol and her legal team (Stephany Mariles) who worried about me and believed in me. It made all the difference. From the bottom of my heart, my family and I are so grateful to your organization.”
“I know that there are a lot of people out there who need help the way that I needed it. The only thing I can say is thank you Marysol, Stephany, and thank you DMRS.”
It is because of your contributions that the legal team at DMRS can continue to fight for clients like Gabriel.
PattiRey is a devoted single mother of six and a local artist who founded an arts and wellness nonprofit organization in Socorro, Texas. PattiRey obtained a green card over thirty years ago and recently decided to apply for naturalization. DMRS accredited representative Alberto Lopez guided PattiRey through the application process, preparation for the USCIS interview and the civics test. Following the oath ceremony, this is what PattiRey had to say about why becoming a citizen is so meaningful:
“My parents were immigrants. They came to this country with one goal, to GIVE their children a better life. Their hard work, resilience and dedication had always been an inspiration for me. I wanted to make them proud.
Second, there was a fear deeply rooted in me. I was challenged with thoughts of not belonging. My status as a permanent resident was good, but limiting.
My concerns, opinions and voice for this country was shunned because of this status!
This bothered me deeply. It affected my sense of belonging.
I realized I could not fully flourish as a human being with this weighing on me.
The Pursuit of Happiness is for ALL - born in this country or not. When I learned this in the declaration, it transcended, it lifted the Fear I was carrying. I embraced the FREEDOM and Belonging for the first time in my life.
I love this country. I serve it with Love and Humility.
Thank you everyone at DMRS for your service!”