An immigrant family gets a fighting chance

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.