Tanya* was a young adult when she experienced political persecution in her home country. In search of freedom, she accepted a job as a domestic worker in a foreign country. Unfortunately, Tanya’s escape was short-lived, as her new employers subjected her to human trafficking.  

After the traffickers brought her to the U.S., Tanya once again escaped – only to be failed by the immigration bureaucracy. Her asylum application was denied in immigration court. It wasn’t until several years later, working with an immigration attorney who recognized her as a survivor of human trafficking, that Tanya was granted a T Visa in 2008.  

But T Visas are temporary and only allow survivors of trafficking to stay in the U.S. for up to 4 years. In 2011, Tanya began working with Ayuda to ensure her long-term safety by seeking lawful permanent residency. A year later, her case was a success. On top of her residency victory, Ayuda also helped Tanya reopen and terminate her previous immigration case – a necessary step to one day apply for citizenship. 

In 2022, Tanya was ready to become a citizen. With Ayuda’s representation, she applied for naturalization. Tanya’s hard work and studying paid off last month, when she passed her English and civics tests on the first try.  

This week, over 10 years after becoming a permanent resident and over 20 years after she escaped her traffickers, Tanya will take the Oath of Allegiance and become a U.S. Citizen.  

All of us at Ayuda are celebrating Tanya’s success and wishing her the best as she starts this next chapter.  


*Name has been changed, and some details omitted, to protect the client’s privacy and safety. 

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