For thirty years, Jorge has been a member of the Napa Community, working in the wine industry as a field worker and tractor driver. He and his wife of 30 years met at church in St. Helena, where Jorge sang in the choir. He and his wife raised their four children in Napa. On Friday, January 27th, 2017, Jorge was threatened that his entire life would be ripped away from him.
For years now, LinkedIn has teamed up with IIBA to help immigrants seeking economic opportunity and stability in the United States.
IIBA opened our Napa office in 2013. Since then, 1,300 individuals have become citizens. In 2013, IIBA Napa was a staff of one. Today IIBA Napa is a staff of nine. Since 2013, 6,350 legal consultations have been provided to immigrants and their families, 102,000 individuals have been educated on their rights, and 620 students have enrolled in citizenship classes.
With DACA, he could apply for the private loans he needed to finally put himself through Dental School. Jose, who graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular biology, had always dreamed of giving back to his hometown of Napa as a dentist. “I want to give back to families that don’t have access to dental care or insurance, a lot like myself growing up,” Jose said.
IIBA's photo series, "Heart of IIBA," is a celebration of our clients, staff, and volunteers. We hope you enjoy getting to know some of the incredible people who embody the diversity and inclusivity that make up the heart of the Bay Area, and who are at the heart of IIBA's work.
When President Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, over 700,000 young people who had been brought to the United States as children could finally realize their dreams. DACA provided work authorization and protection from deportation, fundamentally changing the lives of these youth, including Jorge.
In 2014, Maria and Roberto finally arrived in the Bay Area to live with family after waiting sixteen years in El Salvador for their green cards to be approved. Maria and Roberto, who have been married for 41 years, came to the United States for safety and opportunity.
In the late 1980s, Jamie fled El Salvador during the country’s devastating civil war, seeking safety in the United States. Around the same time, Yolanda came to the U.S. from Mexico. They first met in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class here in the Bay Area, nearly 30 years ago. They fell in love, got married, and had a baby girl.
As the result of the support from more than 20 dedicated volunteers, 25 individuals from 10 different countries are now on the path to citizenship after attending IIBA's Redwood City Citizenship Workshop.
Imagine the United States is the only country you have ever known, but daily you fear you might be forced to leave. Imagine living with that insecurity, yet still moving forward in full pursuit of your dreams, determined to make a difference.