Public Benefits and Immigration Advocates Collide

J.A.'s Story

Marina Salman, CVLS friend and zealous disability advocate at Access Living Chicago, came to us on behalf of a client named J.A. J.A. had been residing at a nursing facility on the South Side for several years. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, J.A. requires the use of a wheelchair and has considerable short- and long-term memory loss.

Access Living, in an attempt to transition J.A. from a nursing facility to a more independent supportive living center, helped him apply for social security benefits. They encountered a roadblock, however, when they realized J.A. couldn’t provide a Legal Permanent Resident (Green) Card. He had one but lost it years ago.

Giovanni Garcia, an attorney at DLA Piper, agreed to work on J.A.’s case. He coordinated with Marina to prepare a request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for issuance of a replacement legal permanent resident card.

Their teamwork in preparing the petition, helping J.A. review the forms, and obtaining signatures on the filing resulted in an approval in less than 90 days! With his new legal permanent resident card, J.A. can now access the housing and other benefits he needs to continue his care.

Marina Salman, Access Living
Marina Salman, Access Living
Giovanni Garcia, DLA Piper
Giovanni Garcia, DLA Piper
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