The Pineda family knows what it is like to fight. Ricardo Pineda served in the U.S. military for five years, including one year in Korea, away from his family. He was honorably discharged because of medical issues. Two of Ricardo’s sons, Juan Pablo Pineda and Kevin Pineda, fight for their lives each day – one dealing with serious heart problems and the other cerebral palsy. Ricardo’s other two children, Ivan and Emily Pineda, also face challenges.

Veronica Castro, Ricardo’s wife, holds the family together. She is the primary caretaker for her husband and four children – an unconditional labor of love. The events in Veronica’s life have created another intense fight for the family. While Ricardo and their four children are citizens, Veronica is undocumented. She entered the U.S. without papers 16 years ago so that Juan Pablo could access a life-saving heart surgery.

Veronica’s future in the U.S. is uncertain each time she reports to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) check-in. With Ayuda at her side providing legal representation, Veronica showed courage in the proceeding—and relief upon hearing she could stay another year in the U.S. Outside, a large crowd of supporters and media gathered to support Veronica and her family, and to cheer the decision.Read the Washington Post article about that fateful day here.

Veronica, Ricardo and their Ayuda attorney will be sharing their story at the Welcome Breakfast on September 20, 2017.


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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