Jamaica’s* Story

Securing a Greencard was almost out of reach.

Jamaica Belongs

Jamaica never dreamed of leaving her home town. Named for the beautiful island of her birth, Jamaica loved the blue ocean, the swaying palm trees, and the family members that she encountered every day. She had a great job and a wonderful life. Jamaica was home. But when she reconnected with her high school sweetheart, everything changed.

Jamaica first met Damien when she was 15 years old. “He was always sweet to me,” She remembers. “He would bring me fruit when I couldn’t make it to church and would walk me home when I did.”

After Damien moved to San Francisco, the two lost touch. Four years ago, however, Damien returned to the island. “Nothing had changed. We began courting right away,” Jamaica laughs.

After Damien returned to the States, Jamaica decided to visit him in San Francisco for a long vacation. Much to their joy, the two discovered that Jamaica was pregnant. They decided to get married and raise their family in Bayview.

Damien became a citizen in March 2016. Jamaica wanted to follow suit and set out to find an attorney that could help her through the process. Every lead she followed, however, proved impossible.

Jamaica simply could not afford a lawyer. So she decided to complete the Greencard paperwork on her own. It was exhausting. Jamaica felt sure she was making mistakes but had no other options.

She talked with friends in the area and discovered that they had similar experiences. That’s when one friend told her about Open Door Legal.

Jamaica rushed to our office that day and set up a meeting with our immigration attorney, Hilary Hammell. Hilary reviewed Jamaica’s progress and was impressed. There were lots of errors, but Jamaica had done very well for completing it on her own.

I’m very happy. I’m going to help others become a part of this country,
and I’m going to work for a better life for my kids.

In the end, Hilary fixed several pages of errors. Without her help, Jamaica likely would have spent the next two years embroiled in legal battles over her Greencard without legal representation. Today, Jamaica is a Greencard holder and a permanent resident of the United States.

Jamaica is now working to get her degree at City College. “Hilary encouraged me to consider a career in law, because I did so well on my paperwork.” She’s working to get her undergraduate degree in Psychology and hopes to pursue a law degree after that. “I’m very happy. I’m going to help others become a part of this country, and I’m going to work for a better life for my kids.”

Jamaica is one of the dozens of immigration clients that Open Door Legal serves every year. You can create a home for more clients like Jamaica by donating today.