Today’s mail was a good omen — it brought three letters from USCIS bearing three pieces of good news. First was an Adjustment of Status approval for a refugee from Eritrea by way of Ethiopia. These cases are among the most encouraging in that the immigration system is generous with and responsive to some of our nation’s most vulnerable residents. The young man is a student at Reno-area Sierra Nevada Job Corps.
The next approval was a pretty “vanilla” one — a run-of-the-mill renewal of a Permanent Resident card for a Mexico national. Gaining approval for this case is no great feat, but it was a big benefit for the client that we were able to oversee the smooth and rapid approval of her ten-year renewal.
Finally, we helped a Mexico national naturalize and gain U.S. citizenship after a drawn-out process with the local immigration office. The man had struggled with alcohol addiction for over 15 years before becoming active in the Catholic Church and finding new purpose in his life. He had been sober for over five years and he has not had any repeat of the alcohol-related arrests that plagued his past. Still, the immigration officer requested substantial evidence of his recovery even beyond affidavits from friends, family, and church elders regarding his improved moral character. After submitting to medical and psychological assessments that determined his alcoholism to be in remission, he was approved for naturalization.
Throughout the process, the client remained positive and hopeful — for him, no price is too great for the pride of calling himself a U.S. citizen.