Life changing representation

Date: 
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Attorney Goes Above and Beyond for Client

Brittni Rivera, Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC

Pro bono attorneys do more than just represent clients. They change lives.

Ana was an undocumented immigrant. A native and citizen of Venezuela, she overstayed her visitor visa almost twenty years ago. Ana has since divorced an abusive husband, taken exclusive care of their three children with special needs, and fought to make ends meet.

In the summer of 2016, Ana’s life had its first positive change. She married Mary, a United States citizen of Haitian ancestry. Mary had a similar story as Ana – she was also divorced with three special needs children. The couple was happy together but struggled to take care of their six children, at times homeless and having to live from inside their car.

Worried about Ana’s immigration status, Ana and Mary came to CVLS’ clinic at Old St. Mary’s Church in 2017. The clinic referred Ana’s case to the CVLS American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) clinic, who were confident they could help Ana apply for a family-based visa. AILA found the perfect volunteer attorney for Ana: Brittni Rivera of Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC.

In her representation of Ana, Brittni completed a Lawful Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”) application. However, the filing fees for her application were extremely prohibitive for the family. Having to take care of six children left Ana and Mary with barely enough money to pay for their expenses, let alone Ana’s filing fees.

Brittni would not give up; she had vowed to change Ana’s life. Brittni reached out to a nonprofit organization who donated $2,700 to the couple toward filing fees and living expenses! The agency, known as Thumbuddy Special, even donated clothing and sensory items for the children.

Last week, Ana and Mary finally got the good news. Ana’s life was changing for the second time; she was granted permanent residence. The family also has their own apartment now, thanks to Brittni’s representation and the generosity of Thumbuddy.

Brittni was thrilled with the result, but she isn’t satisfied yet. She told CVLS, “I look forward to representing Ana for her citizenship in a couple years!”