From an early age, Alfonso had to care for himself and his father and work to support his household.

Alfonso was born in Guatemala. His mother passed away when he was an infant and his father battled health issues that made it challenging for him to care for Alfonso.

As Alfonso grew older, gang members threatened him, causing his life in Guatemala to become even more difficult. He wanted to have a better and safer future, so he came to the United States to be with a family friend, Rochelle, who has taken care of him since his arrival.

Alfonso and Rochelle chose to pursue Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) for Alfonso with the assistance of attorneys Maggie O’Donnell and Bryan D. Thomson, his pro bono legal team from Zuckerman Spaeder.

The first step in this process was a hearing in state family court. We are pleased to share that the state court judge recently awarded Rochelle legal guardianship of Alfonso and made key findings that will enable him to file his SIJS application with the federal immigration agency.

Alfonso is now on a firm path to permanent immigration status.