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Keeping Families Together

The DC Bar Foundation is proud to support legal aid organizations across the District that provide critical services to their clients in need. African Communities Together (ACT) is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for families here in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT encourages African immigrants to integrate socially, advance economically, and engage civically by connecting clients to critical services, helping Africans develop as leaders, and organizing communities on the issues that matter.

In 2014, Mrs. S – a United States citizen – married her husband – a Senegalese national – in Dakar, Senegal. Soon, the couple had two children, both born in the U.S. Mrs. S petitioned to bring her husband to the US as a permanent resident. The petition was approved and sent to the National Visa Center in January 2018.

While waiting for the immigration process, Mrs. S relocated her children to Senegal to grow up with their father. During this time, she went back and forth between the U.S. and Senegal to earn sufficient income to sponsor her husband.

In the summer of 2018, Mrs. S was invited to start the visa process and was ultimately granted an interview to be scheduled by October 2019. In Senegal, the U.S. Embassy received her husband's visa request and scheduled his interview for mid-March of 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, all scheduled interview appointments were canceled until further notice. This unforeseen setback caused significant separation anxiety and financial stress on Mrs. S's family. She moved to Senegal and stayed with her family for much of the year.

In October 2020, Mrs. S reached out to ACT seeking help in rescheduling her husband's canceled interview. She had heard about ACT through her father, who had attended one of their Know Your Rights presentations before the pandemic. ACT swiftly contacted the Embassy and learned they were willing to expedite the case's rescheduling. ACT updated and amended all relevant financial documents and civil documents, and in early 2021, her husband was interviewed and granted a visa.

To learn more about how the DC Bar Foundation supports vital grantees like ACT, please visit our website.


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