Cheili came to Ayuda shortly after the DACA program was announced in June 2012 seeking to enroll with this new program. She had been in the U.S. since she was a small child and has grown up in the U.S.

Ayuda was able to represent Cheili in securing her DACA, and we’ve been able to help Cheili keep on renewing her DACA ever since.

Due to the DACA program, she’s been able to receive her work permit and social security card, graduated high school and college, and is working a great job supporting other low-income immigrant youth with a local community organization.

“DACA changed my life by giving me the opportunity to continue higher education and be able to work and give back to my community. I don’t know how my life could’ve been without the support of AYUDA.” 

– Cheili, Ayuda client and DACA recipient

Because Cheili was connected to Ayuda and had a trusted relationship with us, she came to her immigration attorney after she was the victim of an attack.

Ayuda helped guide her through some of the immediate aftermath and connected her with social workers at Ayuda and with other service providers to help with stay-away orders and pursue criminal charges.

Ayuda identified that Cheili qualifies for a U visa, and is currently representing her and her family in this process which will help this family achieve more stable in the U.S.

Having DACA has helped Cheili be able to succeed with her educational and professional goals, and be able to support herself and her family.

Ayuda's Response to Busing of Migrants

Since April 2022, Ayuda has been working to help coordinate the humanitarian response as the governors of Texas and Arizona continue to send thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C.

We are providing culturally and linguistically specific legal, social and language access services to newly arriving migrants. These services include case management and intake support, interpretation, as well as the provision of food, clothing, hygiene kits, prepaid cell phones, medical supplies, and paid shelter.

Our legal team is providing individualized legal orientations for migrants explaining the immigration system and helping them be aware of their rights and responsibilities.  

“Immigrants are first and foremost, human beings. They deserve respect and compassion, and Ayuda will continue to do what we do best – provide holistic support to those in need in our communities.” - Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director

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