PIRC first met Gabriela and her mom and siblings when she was living in a home filled with violence. Gabriela’s mother was undocumented after her parents brought her to the U.S. from Mexico when she was an infant. Her father used her mother’s undocumented status to control, isolate, and physically assault the mother. Gabriela, her siblings, and her mother were able to connect with PIRC staff, who helped connect them with victim services. PIRC staff helped Gabriela’s mom get a work card and then a green card. With this help Gabriela’s mom and children were able to leave leave a life of threats and violence and find safety and hope.
Azmera was at university in West Africa when she met a U.S. citizen, whom she dated. She later arrived in the U.S. on a fiancée visa, only to find that her partner would keep her locked in the house, threaten her, and abuse her. Azmera courageously came forward after finding out she was pregnant, and was connected with PIRC’s services. With PIRC’s help, Azmera obtained a work card and now lives in her own home where she and her daughter, Mia, can live without violence. She is hoping to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.
When local women and girls were being kidnapped and assaulted in her home country of Guatemala, Gladis fled to the U.S. with her two children, seeking safety. After living in the states for several years, she was raped by an acquaintance and was able to find the courage to come forward about the crime, despite her undocumented status. PIRC worked hard to file a U-Visa on behalf of Gladis. After years of living in the shadows, Gladis now has hope that she and her children will obtain permanent status in the U.S. and feel more at peace in the country they now consider their home.
Kwame fled persecution by groups in Ghana after he was kidnapped, tortured, and his home vandalized because his sexual orientation. Arriving at the U.S. border, he was taken to an immigration detention facility because he did not have legal status or legal documents for entry. With the help of PIRC’s attorney, a PIRC intern, and a volunteer physician, Kwame was provided with critical evidence to include in his case. When Kwame presented his case before the court, the Immigration Judge granted him asylum! Kwame has started a new life for himself in the U.S., where he is free from harm.
Keren, an orphan living in Eritrea, was wrongly accused of helping her classmates escape school and was tied up, beaten, and taken to a prison camp. Even though there was no trial or conviction, Keren was imprisoned for 9 months, continually experiencing violence and death threats. She miraculously was able to escape and requested asylum at the U.S. border. She was again placed into a detention facility, but this time a PIRC attorney advocated for her. Keren was granted asylum and is now living with her cousin in the U.S., starting a new chapter in her life without fear.