SHIELDS partners with Public Counsel to provide pro-bono legal services to clients. Last year Public Counsel Attorney, Gina Amato Lough, met a man at SHIELDS – nearly 60 years old – that was shot at a party when he was only 18 years old leaving him a paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.
For the past 40 years, he has had limited access to healthcare, benefits, and other social services due to his undocumented status. Ms. Amato Lough filed a U-Visa application with nothing but the man’s old crumpled news article from 1976 and a signature from an officer confirming his cooperation in the investigation of his shooter. A year later his U-Visa was approved, allowing him to obtain employment, a social security number, a license, and increased access to public benefits. This is a life-changing victory for the oldest U-Visa case adjudicated by immigration services!
Thank you Gina and Public Counsel for all you do to help our clients lift legal barriers to ensure they can thrive!