Ms. Diallo came to the United States thirteen years ago after escaping Liberia with her husband. Not long after she arrived, her husband passed away, and she was left alone and without any idea how to make it on her own in a new country.
Ms. Diallo knew that she needed the protection of the law to stay here, so she sought to get her green card, and ultimately her citizenship. But every lawyer she went to told her that without her husband with whom she came, she couldn’t apply for the safety of American citizenship. That is, until a friend recommended CAMBA’s Legal Services and she met Jacqueline Acobes.
Ms. Diallo keeps her documents close in a tidy envelope, conscious of the security they give her.
When asked about Ms. Diallo, Ms. Acobes smiles and warmly says it’s one of the cases she’s most proud of. Ms. Acobes has dedicated nearly 14 years to CAMBA and to the clients that CAMBA serves. She speaks about how she tries to communicate with her clients across cultural and language barriers, allowing her to connect with them on both a professional and personal level. That’s why Ms. Diallo’s case means so much to her. She says Ms. Diallo’s case was “a long journey but a good outcome.”
With the guidance of Ms. Acobes, Ms. Diallo obtained a green card and will be able to apply for full citizenship in a little over three years. When asked about how she feels about Ms. Acobes (she calls her “Jackie”), she says, “I feel great. I feel good working with her.”
Ms. Diallo keeps her documents close in a tidy envelope, conscious of the security they give her. On her most recent document, which she gained with Ms. Acobes’ help, she was able to travel to her home country of Guinea for a major family event.
Ms. Diallo could have been a citizen already if she had received correct information earlier, but she remains hopeful for a life that continues to improve.
Ms. Acobes has helped Ms. Diallo in more areas of her life than just citizenship, however. When Ms. Diallo was out of work, Ms. Acobes gave her advice to help hold her over until she was able to regain employment as a Home Health Aid. And today, she continues to remain available to Ms. Diallo even while she waits for the next step in the long immigration process.
Ms. Diallo could have been a citizen already if she had received correct information earlier, but she remains hopeful for a life that continues to improve. After she gains her citizenship she has plans to petition for her step children. She jokes about her dream of owning a house one day which becomes more and more possible each time she and Ms. Acobes reach another milestone on her journey to citizenship.
CAMBA connects New Yorkers to opportunities through its dedicated staff, who are trained to provide solutions to the biggest challenges of life in New York. Visit CAMBA’s 40th Anniversary website and join us in our 2020 Vision Campaign to provide services to refugees and other vulnerable populations in the city.