URGENT! REUNITING DACA IMMIGRANTS with families

NovEMBER 2016 - JanUARY 20th, 2017

HELP US REUNITE FAMILIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Hello Vuelo is raising $20,000 to send low-income immigrants who have status under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to visit family in their countries of birth before January 20th, 2017 when Trump takes office and potentially rescinds this important program. These travelers came to the United States when they were children and many have not seen family members in over 15 years. IF DACA IS REPEALED, WE DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER THEY WILL HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE THEIR FAMILIES AGAIN.  

Below are a few of their personal stories in their own words. Please donate and help reunite these families during the holiday season before its too late!  

Reunite A Low-Income Family - Help Fund a Flight!

MARIANo and DANIELA PAEZ

NEW YORK CITY to ARGENTINA 

NOMINATING ORGANIZATION: UNLOCAL, INC. 

  This is last picture Mariano and Daniela took with their grandparents before they left Argentina. 

This is last picture Mariano and Daniela took with their grandparents before they left Argentina. 

"My name is Mariano Paez, I was six years old when I came to America. The day I left Argentina was a really scary day, I was so confused as of why I and many family members were doing. We all got in a car and were driving I did not know where and when I asked they told not to worry, then my aunt and grandmother started to cry which got me really scared and worried because they did not want to tell me what was going on or why they were crying. When we finally got there I realized we were in an airport and it took me a while to put together that I was leaving but where or why I did not know or understand, I began to cry as we started to hand in our tickets and after I don't remember much. This is hard for me to recall because it was a time in my life that caused a lot of pain for my grandparents to see me go and also for my parents to have to remove us from our home . The last time that I have seen my grandparents was 13 years ago. I miss my grandmother more than anything. She's turning 81 years old and in the last two years she started to have heart failure and lost her vision from her left eye. To be able to see my grandmother in her most difficult times and be by her side is the only thing that I pray for. This would not only fulfill my dream but my grandmothers." 

"My name is Daniela Paez and at the age of three, I left Argentina with my mother and brother to have a better future. It's been 13 years since I last seen my grandmother. As I grow older and accustom myself to the lifestyle in New York, my grandmother grows older and weaker. Since our departure, the only form of communication that we have is through a phone. In just the last two years, my grandmother has been suffering from glaucoma and is experiencing heart failure. My fear is to never have met my grandmother, to never get the chance to hug her and see the place where my parents grew up. This opportunity will allow the dreams of many kids to become a reality."

 


MARTIN J. BATALLA

NEW YORK CITY to MEXICO CITY

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

 Martin has been unable to travel to Mexico to see family for over 18 years. 

Martin has been unable to travel to Mexico to see family for over 18 years. 

 Martin's grandmother recently  underwent surgery on her legs, but suffered complications including a heart attack. 

Martin's grandmother recently underwent surgery on her legs, but suffered complications including a heart attack. 

"My name is Martin J. Batalla and I was born in Mexico City on September 17, 1990. My mother and father travel to United States for a better future for my younger brother and I. Mi abuelita - which in English is grandma - was a second mother to us. She took care of us very well, even though our parents were so far away, she always make sure we have communication with our parents. My mother was making a life of her own in the United States by working two jobs, so she can be able to provide us the financial support while we where still living in Mexico with my grandmother. I could just imagine that struggles my parents went through just for us to have a decent life. I can imagine the pain the went through knowing that it might be the last time they see their parents. Unfortunately that is the sad part of being undocumented. We come to this country for better opportunity - to have an education, something our parents never had. I'm very grateful for my grandmother for being able to give us that unconditional love and supporting my parents on their decision to come to the United States for a better future. Even though we had to leave her to come to the United States, I always knew it was temporarily.

My paternal grandmother is now 70 years old and her health is deteriorating as days go by - it has been 18 years since I have seen her. I want to thank her for everything she has done for me while I still have the chance. I am applying for advance parole and I am humbly seeking for your support to be able to pay for the plane ticket. Right now I work as a janitor at a health club - I was going to school to become a medical assistant but had to stop because I do not have the money to attend. I am very hopeful for getting the opportunity to see my grandmother for what could possibly be the last time.

I want to thank DACA and Hello Vuelo for this opportunity to let me be able to travel back to my country where I was born and to see my grandmother again, this is a dream come true. Thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart."

Martin is a undocumented LGBTQ youth organizer with Make the Road New York - fighting for the rights of his community. He is a plaintiff in a court case filed on behalf of undocumented youth to preserve the protections of DACA in New York. Please support this courageous community advocate and help fund his journey.


Kenia and Henrri Guillen

New York City to Guachipilin, EL Salvador

Nominating Organization: UnLocal, Inc. 

"My brother Henrri and I were born in Chalatenango, El Salvador in a small town called Guachipilin. When I was one, my dad migrated to the United States seeking to offer our family financial security; Henrri was born shortly after. When he left, our grandparents stepped up and helped my mother raise us, becoming a huge influence in our lives. In their home, we grew up amongst a large loving family of aunts, and cousins.

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When Henrri was 8-years-old and I was 10 we migrated with our mother to reunite with our dad in New York. In the saddest goodbye, we left everything we loved behind. Grandpa who had already said goodbye to three of his children before us was torn when we left. “This might be the last time I see you,” he told us. At that age, we could have never imagined that the goodbye would stretch for twelve years. Our shared goal has always been to return to our family but our undocumented status did not allow us that privilege. Over the past years, we have received news of our grandpa’s deteriorating health. But the biggest shock came this November when our family called us saying that he had suffered a stroke and was in critical condition at the hospital. Scared of his condition getting worse, we immediately started applying for emergency advance parole through our DACA status in order to finally reconcile. He raised us as his children and it’s so important that he sees us again and finds the peace he desperately needs.

We are desperately trying to come up with funds in order to see our grandpa for what may be the last time - it has been 13 years since we have seen him, since we have been to Salvador. Since the news has been short notice, it’s been hard to save enough money for tickets that are at their most expensive in December. We’re both completing our Fall semesters so tuition payments, commuting expenses, DACA renewals, and Advance Parole payments have stretched us financially. We’re hopeful that we’ll have this opportunity to reunite, reconcile, and heal from this painful and long separation. Our grandpa, Papita Jesus, was there for us when we needed him the most and we’re hoping to do the same for him." 

REunite a family - help us fund a flight!

AGUSTINA ORTEGA

NEW YORK CITY TO Mendoza, ARGENTINA

Nominating Organization: UnLocal, Inc. 

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"My name is Agustina Ortega, I am 23 years old, and I was born in Mendoza, Argentina. I came the United States in 2001 when I was only 8 years old. My parents brought my siblings and I to New Yotk, to give us a better future and give us more opportunities than what we would get back home. At the time, I probably didn't understand why we were leaving all our cousins and grandparents behind. Now that I am an adult, I realize the sacrifice they took. I am very thankful to my parents for taking such a big risk and leaving everything they knew behind and try and succeed in a foreign country where the primary language was not their own.

Fast forward a few years, I finished high school and started college in hopes of becoming a sonography technician. However, getting pregnant at 19 was not part of the plan. I couldn't finish college because I was pregnant with twins! I have two beautiful daughters named Mariavictoria & Valentina who are now three-years-old. Unfortunately, once I knew I was pregnant the father of my daughters did not stay very long. I took him to court for child support which he has not paid for three years. It's really sad that my daughters don't have their father with them but I am so thankful for my family. My father and my brother play the role of father figures to my daughters and it's great. I eventually went back to school and finished a medical assistance certificate. It is very hard to find a job in this field because everyone wants people with experience and if they do take you they pay less than minimum wage. However, I was lucky to find a job with an amazing dentist. Even though its not my field of interest, I make enough to pay for rent, food, and daycare. Which is great for me since I am a single mother. 

I am applying for emergency advance parole to be able to see my maternal grandmother who is very ill, she has dementia, arthritis, and her memory is deteriorating. I have great memories of her; we would go to her house and she would make us breakfast and by noon she would have the soup ready and it was like this every day. There were times where my father couldn't pick us up, so we had to take the bus back home. Her and my grandfather would walk my mom and my siblings to the bus stop and wait with us until the bus came and gave us candy once we got on. She truly is like a second mother to me and I appreciate everything that she has done for my siblings and myself. I would like to have the opportunity to thank her in person, and give her a hug in behalf of my mother who is her youngest child. One of my dreams is to be able to see her for maybe the last time and introduce her to my kids. I want my kids to see her and explain to them everything this amazing women has done for me and for her whole family (she had 7 kids!) It would the greatest experience to be able to travel back to my home land after 15 years and to show my daughters where we all grew up. My grandma Maria is now 89-years-old, maybe she's just waiting to see us for the last time so she can finally go rest in peace. This is my greatest wish."


SOLANGE ORTEGA

NEW YORK CITY TO MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

Nominating Organization: UnLocal, Inc. 

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"I have not seen my family in Argentina for more than 15 years due to my current immigration status as well as for financial reasons. I am a current junior at the City College of New York majoring in Applied Mathematics and the only way that I have been able to pay for my classes are through scholarships and a part-time job. My grandmother is extremely ill and has dementia; she also has mobility impairment and I fear she will not last much longer. She is like my second mother since I was with her five out of seven days while my mother went to school and worked. Seeing her for perhaps the last time would mean the world to me because all I want to do is hug her, tell her thank you and that I appreciate everything she has done for me. I am overwhelmed with excitement at the fact that I may be able to see and step and the land that I grew up in as well as the people that basically raised me. I came the states when I was merely 5 years old with my mother and 2 siblings to reunite with my father who was already here. I had not applied to advanced parole before because i feared they would not let me in the country once I came back and since I was in college I did not want to take that risk. I also did not want to put my parents in danger since they too are undocumented. However, with president-elect Donald Trump, the future of DACA is uncertain and I might never be able to travel to my home land ever again. I now, more than ever, feel out of place and came to the realization that this country does not want me to be here even though my sole focus is to graduate from college. I absolutely love the United States because of all the educational opportunities it has given me, but I would love to be able to go see my family in Argentina for perhaps the last time. A last reconciliation between my family and I is what I need in order to finally feel in a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being which will thus, allow me to progress in my career. The impact that this reconciliation would have on me is indescribable and I would therefore give the world in order to experience it. Thank you so much for your help"


GUSTAVO MADRIGAL

NEW YORK CITY TO GUADALAJARA, MEXICO

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

 Gustavo is recent college graduate 
  Gustavo's grandfather lives in Mexico - he has not seen him in 16 years. His grandfather is suffering from lung & kidney failure and recently had surgery to remove a brain tumor. 

Gustavo's grandfather lives in Mexico - he has not seen him in 16 years. His grandfather is suffering from lung & kidney failure and recently had surgery to remove a brain tumor. 

 Gustavo and his younger sister 

Gustavo and his younger sister 

"After my DACA application was filed earlier this year and a work permit became a real possibility, the dream of being granted Advanced Parole and traveling to México to see my grandfather took precedent over almost everything else in my life. I came to the US when I was 9 years and I have not seen my grandfather since then - I am now 25. For the past two and a half years, my grandfather has suffered from severe health complications, specifically a tumor lodged in his brain that gave him a 25% chance of survival if doctors attempted to remove it. Recently, he had surgery to remove the tumor and it was successful, but his lungs shut down and he is now on dialysis treatment. Now that my DACA is approved and with a Trump presidency in a few months, my dream--my mother's dream--of visiting my grandfather before he leaves this world is the most important goal. At this critical time, I can not imagine the hope my grandfather feels to see one of his favorite grandsons all grown up, taller than him, with a different voice and different mannerisms than the child he hugged goodbye in 2001. I hope I will see him again; not just for me, but for my mother also."

Gustavo's powerful story was told in the documentary The Graduates - a film about undocumented youth and their struggle to pursue higher education. He is a recent college graduate and dynamic community organizer, tirelessly fighting for the rights of immigrants at Make the Road. Please help us reunite him with his family!


ARaceli Concepcion tepoz luna

New York City to Mexico City

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

I was born in Puebla, Mexico on December 8, 1985. Due to financial circumstances, my parents made a hard decision to migrate to the United States and left me under the care of my paternal grandmother at the age of 3 years old. My grandmother became a mother to me during those years I was away from my parents. At the age of 9, my parents decided it was time I reunited with them and made it possible to bring me to the United States in 1994. 

With the support of my parents, I was able to acquire a good education here in the United States and graduate from high school. My education path however was limited due to my immigration status. Therefore, when DACA 2012 came about I took the opportunity and was able to obtain a work permit and attend Allen School of Sciences to become a certified nurse assistant. 

My goal is to obtain a well-paid job to support my family as well as my grandmother in Mexico. She was diagnosed with osteoporosis 8 years ago and it has significantly affected her pelvic members. It has been 22 years since I have last seen her and I desperately wish to see her again. I yearn to see her at least one more time to be able to hug her and thank her for everything she did while she had me. 

I am a single mother of two children and humbly hopeful you consider funding my flight. Financing the travel expenses will be a gracious offer in these desperate times. I am very thankful for Hello Vuelo and DACA for giving me the hope of seeing my dear grandmother once again. 


Esteban nicolas jaramillo mora

New York city to guayaquil, Ecuador

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

I was born in January 26, 1998 in Cuenca, Ecuador. I came to the United States crossing the Mexican border when I was only 9 years old. It was one of the worst experiences that I've ever encountered. What got me through it was the thought of seeing my parents once again; it kept me strong. I am applying for Advanced Parole with DACA to visit my paternal grandmother who is very ill at the moment. She is a mother figure to me as she fed me, raised me, and helped out whenever I had any problems or be there when I felt lonely. My grandmother is the best person in the world; it truly means everything to me that I'll be reunited with her once again. 

I would like to thank Hello Vuelo and DACA for giving me the opportunity to visit my grandmother for what may be the last time I see her due to her illness. 

 


ELVIA BERMEJO

NEW YORK CITY TO GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

"I arrived at the age of 13 years old with my older brother through the border - we even sailed on a boat for 8 days before getting to Guatemala. I came to meet my parents here. My father came to US when my mother was pregnant with me. My mother came to the US when I was 4 years old. I grew up with my grandparents, they raised me and cared for me. My grandmother passed away before I came to the US and now I want to go visit my grandfather who was my father figure. My grandfather is about to turn 92 years old. He is scheduled for hip surgery when I arrives; my grandfather and doctors want me to be present to take care of him after the surgery. It has been 9 years since I have seen him. I only hope I can repay him for all he has done for me. Thank you for your help!"


HUGO HERNANDEZ

NEW YORK CITY to MEXICO CITY

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

"I came to the United States from Mexico 20 years ago when I was 8 years old and have not been able to return since. To think that there is a possibility to go back to Mexico after two decades apart and see my cousins, aunts, uncles and specially my grandmother who is 78 years old - it almost feels like a dream. In this past 20 years I have lost both of my father's parents and I would love to see my mother's mom at least one more time. So what does this opportunity means to me? It means that I would be able to see one of the most important figures in my life an opportunity that I might not get again."

Reunite A Low-Income Family - Help Fund a Flight!

Aidee Canongo

NEW YORK CITY to MEXICO CITY

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

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"I came through the border when I was 1.5 years old with my aunt - my father was already in USA and my mother went through the desert. I was 16 years old when I first applied for DACA. This is now my second time renewing. I am applying for Advanced Parole to go visit my uncle - he is suffering from dementia. Most of my family relatives are older in age and I have not been able to speak to any of my grandparents since they all passed away when I was here in the US. I have been in contact with not only my uncle but other family members as well and I hope to see them soon."


VERONICA FLORES

NEW YORK CITY TO MEXICO CITY

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

"Hello, my name is Veronica Flores. I was born in Mexico on September 27, 1998. I wish to travel to Mexico because I want to see my grandmother, the woman who took care of me for 5 years when my mom and dad came to the U.S.  Currently she is very sick. She has been for a few years, but this time it is getting worse.

I arrived in the Unites States crossing the border with my sister when I was 8 years old. Even thought it was a struggle to reach US soil, we were determined to reunite with our family. I came to the United States seeking for a better future than the one I could have in Mexico. But, now I wish to visit my sick grandmother who is agonizing. I want to thank DACA and Hello Vuelo for this opportunity to let me be able to travel back to my country where I was born and to see my grandmother again, this is a dream come true. Thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart."


MARIA GUADALUPE FLORES GARCIA

NEW YORK CITY TO MEXICO CITY

Nominating Organization: Make the Road New York

"My name is Maria Guadalupe Flores Garcia. I am 20 years old and currently living in New York City. I am an undocumented immigrant who is applying for an emergency advanced parole to go to Mexico this December if approved by USCIS from December 22nd to January 2nd. I will love to spend this Christmas with my grandmother and family in Mexico. It’s been 10 years since I last saw them and it will be wonderful to visit them this year. I came to the United States when I was 10 years old via the border hoping for a better life here in the United States and since then I have been working very hard on achieving that life. My grandmother took care of my sister and I when both my parents came to the U. S. and now that she is struggling with her health from acute bronchitis, osteoarthritis, and allergic sinusitis. It will be great to visit her. Thank you in advanced for your time and support."

Reunite a low-income family - help fund a flight!