At Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, a program of Kentucky Equal Justice Center, I work with immigrant crime victims to help them secure immigration status in the United States. I love doing this work because it helps protect and empower people by giving them security that they might not otherwise receive.
Two years ago, Sanaa, a refugee from Iraq, came to our office to apply for U.S. citizenship. Typically, immigrants have to show that they can read, write, and speak in English to be eligible for citizenship. However, because of dementia and past trauma that she experienced before coming to the United States, Sanaa was unable to learn English. As part of her application, I helped her file a request to have this requirement waived so she could become a U.S. citizen.
At first, our waiver request was denied—twice—both times for reasons that violated immigration law. Instead of giving up, I filed an appeal arguing why the denial was in violation of immigration law and asking the government to reconsider her case. This time, we won! The appeal was recently granted, and Sanaa was able to take the citizenship test in her native language. She passed the test and became a U.S. citizen that same day.
Sanaa and Kentuckians like her are the reason we do this work. Your support allows us to ensure that people can receive immigration protection regardless of what country they are from or what language they speak.
Give now! We know Kentuckians need you now more than ever. We’re proud to be in the fight for equal justice with people like you, and we’re deeply grateful for your support.
Will you show your support for immigrant victims of crime?
Interim Program Director of Maxwell Street Legal Clinic