April 5, 2022

IILA Directing Attorney Valerie Herrera (left), with client “S”

The following story was shared by IILA Directing Attorney Valerie Herrera. Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect the client’s identity.

IILA is pleased to share that one of our Immigration Legal Services Division (ILSD) clients was recently granted asylum in the United States.

“S” entered the United States as an unaccompanied minor (or UAC – unaccompanied alien child) and was placed in removal proceedings. S had been forced to flee her home country after receiving death threats. She attended her asylum interviews before USCIS and was granted asylum and her removal case has been terminated.

Now that she has been granted asylum and allowed to stay in the US, S plans to apply for her green card as soon as possible. She also plans on going back to school to get her GED this year and is considering going to college to become a physician assistant.

She says, “I aspire to be a good citizen here in this new country – to pay my taxes, have good credits, and my dream is to be able to buy a house here in the United States.

“The biggest challenge for me throughout this whole experience was not knowing whether I was going to be able to get asylum granted or not and be returned to my country. The uncertainty was very overwhelming at times. It is a long and hard process to go through deportation proceedings. It requires a lot of patience because my case took three years. However, because I listened to my attorney’s suggestions, and worked hard to prepare for my asylum interview, I was able to win my case.

“I want to thank IILA for having listened to my story and accepted my case. IILA gave me the tools I needed to be able to express myself in a way that would allow me to win my case. I saw the hard work my attorney and the entire team was doing for me. I appreciated how honest they were with me about how difficult it was going to be. When I had a question or concern, my attorney was there to answer all my questions. They were always there for me.”