“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt
As we gather together to celebrate America’s Independence Day with family and friends, let us take a moment to reflect on the important contributions that immigrants and their children have made to the values we celebrate on the Fourth of July: Perseverance. Love of family. Generosity. Faith. Gratitude. Strength.


More than one million of our neighbors in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC have moved here from abroad with dreams of a better future and to share in these common values, like Fernanda.


Fernanda successfully passed her citizenship exam in May and is anxiously awaiting her oath ceremony to become a U.S. citizen.


Fernanda, a long-time client of Ayuda, arrived to the United States at age two from Peru. Ayuda assisted her and her family in securing legal status through the Violence Against Women Act, represented her in her green card interview, and now represents her in her citizenship/naturalization process.


Fernanda is a student at Virginia Tech, pursuing a double-major in criminology and sociology. She is an active member of her community, and is interning this summer with Virginia Child Protective Services, assisting in protecting local children from abuse and neglect.


After taking her citizenship oath and graduating from Virginia Tech, Fernanda hopes to pursue a position in the federal government, preferably with the FBI, or with USCIS.

Thank you, Fernanda, for sharing your story.