Meet Your Neighbor: Maria Rauda

I packed my bags and left El Salvador in 1991 in search of a better life for my family. I’m from the capital, San Salvador, where violent crime is rampant and life is very insecure. My oldest sons and parents still live there, and they depend on me to work and send money home. My father recently had a stroke, and I was able to send enough cover his medical bills.

Right now, I am very worried. My Temporary Protected Status is ending, along with hundreds of thousands of others my from country, and I am afraid I’ll be sent back to a dangerous place my ten year old son has never known, unable to make the kind of money I need to support my family here in Queens and back in San Salvador.

I came to Queens Community House to find other routes to permanent residency. The specialist was incredibly helpful and referred me to an attorney from the Legal Aid Society. She also helped me gather all the documents I needed and gave me confidence in my case.

My son has such a bright future here. He wants to be an actor. We live in Corona, and he loves to go to school and play with his friends. My husband came here five years ago, and I want him to know the possibilities this country can bring him. I hope God gives me the strength to continue providing for my family. I do this all for them.

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