Justice for Ndeye

Originally from Senegal, Ndeye was married at 16 and came to the U.S. with her husband in 1995.  She had two children in Senegal and five children born in the U.S., but had been suffering from abuse in the relationship for 23 years.  Ndeye could no longer stand the abuse, and did not want to set a poor example for her daughters by staying in an unhealthy relationship.

One morning very early, she woke all of her children and ushered them out of the house while their father slept.  The plan was to stay with a close friend until they could find some kind of temporary accommodation.  Eventually they moved to shared accommodation in a homeless shelter.  Days turned into weeks and months and years.  Ndeye and her children bounced from shelter to shelter for years, which extracted a great emotional toll on her children.  Ndeye finally found Her Justice, and in 2015, Managing Attorney, Susanna Saul, applied for a U Visa on her behalf, a temporary status granted to victims of certain crimes who collaborate with law enforcement to investigate or prosecute their abuser.

In this current anti-immigration climate, the wait for a U Visa is about five years.  However, if you are deemed eligible, you are placed on a wait list due to the cap on U Visas, which means virtually all applicants are suffering extreme delays.  Once deemed eligible, you can be granted work authorization.  These outrageous delays mean that without a work permit, women like Ndeye have no means to support themselves and their children, so they end up working illegally, facing harassment and exploitation.  Worse however, and much more dangerous in a domestic violence situation, without financial means women are often forced back into the home of the abuser.

While Ndeye’s U Visa petition is still pending, she just received confirmation that she has been granted a work permit by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, allowing her to provide for her family and herself.  Needless to say, she is thrilled.  “I just want to thank Her Justice and especially my attorney, Susanna, for giving me the chance and the opportunity to raise my voice for things that matter to me.”