About Mil Mujeres

Survivors Stories

Sixteen years without her daughters has turned her life upside down


Ms. Adela Cuevas is a survivor of domestic violence. She endured years of physical, verbal, mental, economical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her ex-partner. Fortunately, Ms. Cuevas was able to stop the cycle of silence and stop her abuse when she notified the authorities on December 27, 2012, and cooperated with the investigation, to the best of her ability. Ms. Cuevas was determined to protect her children and herself from her abuser, so she went on to obtain an order of protection. Ms. Cuevas also found herself forced to move to a shelter for battered women for her safety and the safety of her children. At the shelter, Ms. Cuevas received professional help from counselors who assisted her to overcome her depression, which was a result of living in constant abuse, fear, and stress. Today, Ms. Cuevas is a proud survivor, a stronger woman and happy mother.


Last year, Ms. Cuevas filed an application for U nonimmigrant status, and on August 18, 2014 it was determined that the evidence submitted with her petition appears to demonstrate that she has established the eligibility requirements for U nonimmigrant status. However, the statutory cap for U nonimmigrant status has been reached for the fiscal year of 2013-2014. Meanwhile, Ms. Cuevas has received a notice of deferred action, which made her eligible for employment authorization. This document was granted to her on January 13, 2015. Unfortunately, Ms. Cuevas’s two derivative daughters (sixteen and eighteen years old,) currently living in Mexico with their oldest sister, did not share the same benefits. Instead, they have to continue to wait in Mexico, apart from their mother, until U nonimmigrant status is available to them. This situation is tormenting to Ms. Cuevas as she has not seen her daughters for fifteen years, since she moved to the United States.


Ms. Cuevas was faced with the difficult decision of leaving her daughters in Mexico in order to better provide for them. Ms. Cuevas made this important decision after she was abandoned by the father of her children and she struggled to make ends meet. She tried her best to provide for her daughters, but it was very difficult for her. Ms. Cuevas comes from a modest background and received only an elementary school education, which often prevented her from obtaining a stable job or sustainable income. There were days that she did not have enough money to buy food for her children. Ms. Cuevas moved to the United States in hopes of finding better employment opportunities, so that she could provide a better life for her daughters.


Unfortunately, she was not able to bring her daughter’s with her because of her limited funds, also, because she did not want to expose them to any excessive dangers that present themselves when making the journey, undocumented, to the North American country. These dangers go from kidnappings to rapes and even possibly death. While she was willing to risk her life for the betterment of her daughters, she decided that her three daughters stay behind at the care of Ms. Cuevas’s mother.


Recently, Ms. Cuevas’s mother passed away, and now her two youngest daughters are cared for by Ms. Cuevas’s oldest daughter, who is currently twenty-three years old. Ms. Cuevas feels a big hole in her heart by this situation and wishes nothing more than to be reunited with her daughters and care for them in person. It makes her sad not to be by her daughters side, especially when they tell her how difficult it has been for them after their grandmother’s passing. Her daughters have expressed to Ms. Cuevas that they often feel sad, lonely and depressed. They also yearn for the day that they can be reunited with their mother and siblings.


Ms. Cuevas believes that if her daughters are allowed to come to the United States she will be able to better support them, both financially and emotionally. Now that she has work authorization, she wants to provide them with a better quality of life, a life that they deserve. For these reasons, Ms. Cuevas seeks the opportunity to bring her daughters to the United States through a humanitarian visa or through advanced parole procedures.


Survivors Stories


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