As I enter Paulette’s apartment, she introduces me to her Garden of Eden. Paulette is fascinated by floral design—she embellishes her residence in an arrangement of real and artificial flowers. Paulette’s apartment showcases her bright disposition and I instantly feel welcomed into her home. She hands me a can of Orange Fanta as I sit on the couch next to her piano. Paulette always had an affinity for playing music from what she tells me. I do not know what to expect from this interview, all I know is that I am instantly intrigued by her personality.
Marie’s skinny body is exaggerated from her oversized dress, but her personality is anything but frail.
While she speaks, her voice fluctuates wildly in its tone; and while she talks, her face is brightly animated. Marie has much to say, but she does not have much time.
Like Yvette, she meets with me during her short break from work at the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale. As I listen to her story, the rain pours down from the sky in buckets, and makes thunderous little claps on the roof above us.
Yvette meets with me during her lunch break in the middle of an intense Florida summer rainstorm to tell me about her journey as an American citizen. The decorum for an interview cannot be worse, but nonetheless, Yvette has plenty of patience to participate in my project. As lightning cracks all around us, and a chintzy version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” plays repetitively on the loudspeakers, Yvette maintains her graciousness. We sit at a table in the Swap Shop—a flea market complex in Ft.
Within the last year, the AFSC Miami office began groundbreaking work towards helping gay immigrants married to American citizens obtain legal permanent status (LPR). Gay immigrant spouses can now apply for legal status because on June 26th, 2013 Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was repealed in the US Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States.
This two pager, in English and Spanish, provides insight into what it means to have U.S. citizenship privilege, and also provides ways that non-immigrants can be strong allies in support of immigrant justice.
Este folleto de dos páginas, delinea lo que significa tener privilegio de ciudadanía. Además, demuestra maneras en lo cual gente que no son inmigrantes pueden ser aliados fuertes para apoyar justicia para inmigrantes.
In November, just a week after the U.S. presidential election in which immigration issues played a prominent role, over 200 Miami-area residents gathered together to celebrate their new status as U.S. citizens.
Each student took the stage to shake the hand of their teacher, Paul-Andre Mondesir, AFSC’s Haitian community social advocate, who guided them through the complex path to becoming a citizen in the twice-weekly class he teaches in a tiny strip mall storefront.
The lines may be long and voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy may be frustrated, but the polling centers will be uniquely special to first-time voters. Since the beginning of this year, AFSC’s Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey has helped 30 immigrants become new Americans who will have their chance to vote today.
Lori Chesser is a Senior Shareholder with the Davis Brown Law Firm, and chair of its Immigration Department. As chair of the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition, she is committed to providing factual information and education regarding immigration law and policies for community members, the press and political leaders. She is a frequent speaker and contributor on this topic both locally and nationally.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.