Margarita* is a 40 year-old Mexican woman who married a United States (U.S.) citizen that locked her into a life of domestic violence and forced servitude. Casa Cornelia staff attorney Evelyn Lopez took Margarita’s case, and applied for certain requirements placed on those who are processing their immigration status based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen. The application was successful and Margarita is now independent and free.
After marrying Joe*, a U.S citizen, Margarita* started a new life in the United States, and shortly after applied for legal permanent residency (LPR) as his wife. As time went by, her husband Joe began assaulting her, abusing her emotionally and physically. Joe also began threatening her with stopping the LPR application so she would remain undocumented and potentially deported.
Fearful for her life, Margarita left her husband and sought help at a domestic violence advocacy organization, which eventually referred her to Casa Cornelia for legal advice. Due to her history, Margarita was eligible for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) relief. Staff attorney Evelyn Lopez took Margarita’s case, but during the legal process, Margarita returned to her husband.