A New Life for a Father and his Daughter

Victor came to the United States 13 years ago from Nicaragua. He was 19 when he left his home and everything he knew, hoping for a better life in United States. He was fleeing the violence in his village and reuniting with parents he hadn’t seen in 10 years.

When Victor arrived, he lived with his parents and found a job doing construction. At night, he took GED classes, working to finish his education. At one of these classes, he met and fell in love with his soon-to-be girlfriend. They began dating and later moved in together. Convinced they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, they married and had a beautiful daughter together. Victor knew his wife enjoyed her social life when they met, but, as time went on, she would leave him at home with the baby and go to parties. Often, she would return home intoxicated, and she became physically and verbally abusive.

Although Victor tried to make the relationship work for his daughter’s sake, it became clear to everyone around them that he was being abused. It was not a healthy environment for him and his daughter.

A close friend of Victor’s was volunteering at Just Neighbors and suggested he call to see if he could get help. Victor met with a Just Neighbors attorney and she determined he was eligible to apply for an immigration benefit through the Violence Against Women Act. Despite the title, VAWA is open to men and women.

Through VAWA, Victor just received his work permit and will soon be eligible to receive a green card. He has full custody of his daughter now.

While working full time and raising his daughter, Victor plans to go back to school to learn air conditioning repair. Stay tuned to learn about Victor’s life after he receives his green card.

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The mission of Just Neighbors is to provide immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Virginia, especially those who are most vulnerable. We also seek to foster enriching experiences that enhance awareness and mutual understanding among our clients, volunteers, staff and community.

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