September 30, 2015
Changes in the Visa Bulletin
We are greatly disappointed that on September 25, 2015, the State Department changed the October 2015 Visa Bulletin. Instead of allowing thousands of legal immigrants stuck in the visa backlog to file early for their adjustment of status applications, the revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin rolls back the "Dates for Filing" for several visa categories, and will force many individuals and families to continue to face lengthy wait times before they can submit their applications for permanent residence. We hope that DHS and DOS reverse this change and revert back to the original Visa Bulletin, whether on their own merit or because of the law suit that was filed against them in Federal Court. 
A Life-changing Decision

Our story goes back to the year 2000, when young Leah's mom encouraged her and her sisters to learn Spanish. It was not an easy task for four American girls, as it was a foreign language that they were not familiar with and no one in their family spoke, but with time and faith they eventually started making progress.

Little did Leah know that learning Spanish would change her life, as six years afterwards she met Victor, an immigrant from Mexico who did not speak any English. Leah felt like it was love at first sight. But just like any good story, it had a big obstacle: Victor was undocumented. He didn't want anybody to think that his relationship with Leah was an interested one, so for several years he refused to pursue legal status through Leah. They got married and he finally agreed to search an attorney and start the green card process after having an accident at work and having time to reflect about his future. Two months after they made the decision, we started the application and Victor applied for the provisional waiver based on extreme hardship to Leah, which was approved.

The final step, the consulate appointment in Mexico was coming. Getting Victor there was not easy, as it was a costly trip and they were still facing significant financial hardships after losing a job. At first a friend of theirs offered to drive with him and suggested that her brother would let them stay with them for the two weeks in El Paso so Leah could wait for Victor. But right before they left, their friend could not go. They were disheartened but moved heaven and earth to find an alternative and Leah accompanied him. At last, a family member who works for an airline graciously gave them tickets which allowed them to attend the interview on time.

Victor went to the consulate appointment and got his immigrant visa approved. He also go to see his mother and sister in Mexico for the first time after 15 long years of separation and spent some time with his family rejoicing in these moments. After only being outside of the U.S. for a short time, Victor now has his green card and is back in the U.S. with his family.

The Pinedas have been wonderful and cooperative clients, very proactive and even when they encountered setbacks they continued on to find alternatives. It has been our pleasure to be part of their story and to facilitate their family stability and their happiness. Here are some pictures of Leah and Victor and the family reunion.
Don't Surrender to Difficulties
Like Victor and Leah, many of us encounter setbacks in life and difficulties. When you find yourself in front of one of these moments, do not wallow in self-pity or question "why is this happening to me", be proactive and continue in another direction. Similarly with our new office construction, when one agency did not approve a portion of our floor plan, we reworked it and figured out a creative solution that generated more productive workspace. It literally and figuratively opened another door for us.