Unlocking New Beginnings

Updated: Oct 25

In December 1998, when she was just four years old, Kay* arrived with her family in the United States. Kay and her parents entered legally with visas. Soon after their arrival, she and her family settled in Texas. Kay was enrolled in school and started to live a normal life.


As time passed, Kay and her family’s legal stay expired – as well as all their travel documents. In October 2020, Kay married John* and they started a family. The couple decided to move from Texas to Florida with their three small children in search of better job opportunities.

We met Kay in February 2022 when she contacted our Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services team to explore the possibility of obtaining permanent legal status. The young mother had heard there was a chance she could apply for a green card and she was desperate to know more.


Kay spent every day living in fear of being deported. From driving her kids to school to visiting the doctor’s office, she was constantly nervous that she would be stopped by police and referred to immigration detention. Her fear paralyzed her and kept her from seeking legal help, as she knew there was a possibility that she could be detained by the authorities.

After consulting with our team and a DOJ accredited representative, Kay was put at ease.


Her situation allowed for several options and pathways to legal status. Catholic Charities staff was able to comprehensively explain the process to Kay, including time frames, specific documentation that would be needed, and the steps she’d have to take to begin. Kay is now in the process of applying for her permanent status, a phase she looked forward to but simply needed the courage – and a helping hand – to begin. Thanks to our fantastic Immigration Legal Services team for all the incredible work you do.


*Names changed to protect identities

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