Know their stories

This work is crucial. Read about the lives of Baby Luz and Nohemy.


Baby Luz from Nicaragua


Luz was born to an 11-year-old mother in El Salvador, and her mother was unable to care for her. Luz was informally adopted by an attorney who later won her election for mayor. Her home country is currently experiencing severe violence, though, and Luz and her new mother, Barbara, had to flee the country.

Upon arriving in Arkansas, Luz was severely malnourished, and upon arriving at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital it was established that Luz needed throat surgery which she could not survive without a heart transplant — which she could not be eligible for until she had ARKids/medicaid.

Within 9 days of the intake, AID had acquired a guardianship order with language that ensured this young child has immediate access to ARKids, and now AID staff are working with the hospital’s finance department to make sure this happens as soon as possible. Luz also now qualifies to apply for a path to Legal Permanent Resident status (and, later, citizenship) through Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

“Just nine days after my AID attorney met me, we were in court getting a guardianship for my beloved 2-year-old niece. Thanks to AID, I can help her access medical care and other resources because I have these letters of guardianship.”

“Unos nueve días después de que conocí a mi abogado de Defensa de Inmigrantes de Arkansas, estabamos en el tribunal recibiendo la tutela de mi querida sobrina de 2 años de edad. Gracias a DÍA, yo puedo ayudarla con cuidado médico y otros recursos porque tengo la carta de la tutela legal.

— The mother of Luz / La Mama de Luz


Nohemy from Mexico


Nohemy’s mother died when she was 9, and when she was 15, her father was incarcerated. She reached out to AID via our website after Googling, “free immigration law help Arkansas.” She explained that she had been living with her aunt, but that she was kicked out for being a lesbian. She is about to turn 17, and has been working illegally for the last two years, having lied about her age in order to get a job and make ends meet. Nohemy qualifies for SIJS and because she is from Mexico rather than a Northern Triangle country, could get her work permit relatively soon.


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