Success Stories

Unaccompanied Migrant Child.

An undocumented immigrant child from Honduras who is in removal proceedings in Charlotte, NC, was granted a custody order from a District Court in NC despite his age (he was 18 years old). The custody and protection order was based on the abuse and negligence that he suffered in Honduras from his parents. Our young boy was living in the streets facing the violence of the Maras for nearly a month before he came to the United States to seek protection in November of 2013. With the state court order declaring that (1) he is a dependent minor, (2) it is not in his best interest to return to Honduras, and (3) that he cannot be reunited with his parents because he was abused and abandoned by them, DEAR through its lawyer, Hila Moss, filed on his behalf a Special Immigrant Juvenile visa (SIJ) application that is currently pending with USCIS. If our client obtains his SIJ status, he may be eligible to apply for a green card. 

From this experience, I learned that sometimes it is necessary to push the boundaries and request something even though you’re not sure how it will turn out. I could have just left the issue alone, because of the fact that he turned 18 in December, but I wanted to try and I pushed it and we were successful. That never would have happened if I had played it safe and did not take the chance.
— Hila Moss, Esq, 2014

U Visa for a woman victim of sexual abuse.

DEAR has processed about ninety U Visas applications for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, murder, kidnapping, felonious assault and other serious crimes.  The majority of the cases are very difficult due to the severity of the abuse and the lack of resources of the victims. 

Beginning our activities, we met a young woman who had been sexually abused as a child that has haunted her into adulthood. She was lost and hopeless. Simply thinking about what had happened to her brought her to tears. This is a success story because despite the age of the case, DEAR was successful in obtaining her U Visa certification which is the first step and a requirement in order to apply for the U-Visa.  The client had been through therapy at the time of the abuse, but it was clear that she had never healed.  We accompanied her to InterAct in Raleigh which provides counseling services and therapy referral.  She was nervous to go alone and she needed the encouragement to be able to talk about what happened to her.  Throughout the process of getting the U-Visa application together and ready to send, we kept in touch with her and we discussed the importance of her attending therapy. Shortly before sending the application, she had to be hospitalized due to her severe depression.  The client's dire situation made it that much more important for DEAR to get her U-Visa approved.  Thankfully she was approved as was her husband who she had petitioned for.   I am very happy to say that she was able to get employment authorization, she received medication for her depression, and her quality of life has greatly improved.


Saving Children: Two Salvadoran Sister Victims of Physical and Emotional Abuse are Now Saved 

On November 6th, 2014, our immigration attorney, Hila Moss, received great news about two of our pro bono cases that we undertook in May of this year (These cases were referred by the Lutheran Services Carolinas).

We are proud to announce that two sisters who escaped an alcoholic father and abusive step-mother in El Salvador have received the special immigrant juvenile visa. They risked everything to travel by themselves to the United States to be with their mother in North Carolina and they are now visa recipients and eligible to adjust their status as legal permanent residents of the USA! In five years they will be able to apply for citizenship in the United States. Now, they are saved and receiving the medical and mental health services they need. Our girls are doing very well in high school and studying hard to go to college.

It is extremely disturbing how many cases of domestic violence we see in DEAR. Therefore, I am committed to advocate for their rights and make sure they receive the services that they deserve. As a member of DEAR, I work hard everyday to promote victims’ rights and to encourage survivors to keep fighting for their future because DEAR believes that there is still hope
— Rachael Kreuz, Director of Programs and Senior Immigration Paralegal, 2014

I am extremely happy to report that everyday D.E.A.R. is helping more children to escape a violent and dangerous life in Central America so that they can now grow up as happy and healthy children who will be wonderful assets to our society.
— Hila Moss, Esq, November 2014