Carla - Immigrant Justice


A recent U Visa win by LSSP’s attorneys for a local single mother and abuse victim was an exceptional case in which an appeal was won. Justice was obtained for this mother who suffered abuse and imprisonment by her abuser for years. Now she has a chance to safely keep her family intact and provided for.

Imprisoned in her own house, Nicaraguan-native Carla* suffered abuse and threats on her life for six years in the U.S. from her ex-boyfriend. She was trapped inside every day and kept away from people who could have aided her. Carla’s ex-boyfriend first began abusing her in 1994 when she became pregnant with their first child. In the years after their first child’s birth, she wasn’t allowed to leave the house or even look out the windows. He often locked her and their son in a closet while he was gone and threatened the lives of her and her family to keep Carla from ever leaving. She endured beatings and emotional abuse for years as her children watched helplessly.

After moving to Charlotte in 1999, Carla was finally able to escape her abuser and file a report with the police in 2000. She and her two children have spent the years since moving between relatives’ houses and local shelters, still fearful of her ex-boyfriend’s return. Last year, Carla was initially denied a U Visa because the police no longer had her abuse photos due to a system that does not keep photos dating back to 2000. Without a U Visa, Carla was left unable to provide for her children without the right to work, drive or apply for citizenship in the future and risking separation from her U.S. citizen children. However, after an appeal was filed underscoring Carla’s circumstances, her application was finally approved two years after her initial filing. Her family now safe from being torn apart, Carla is on her way to achieving full citizenship and securing a better future for her and her children.


*Details have been changed to protect identity