04/22/2012

Don Francisco's Story

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Francisco Lopez immigrated to Sonoma in the early 1980's to work in field labor.  He was fortunate to eventually gain his permanent residency in 1990 through the Reagan Administration's Amnesty program.  He has spent the past 30 years working hard to support his family, and always used his 2 weeks’ vacation to visit his hometown in Michoacán, Mexico, where his wife of nearly 50 years and his eight now grown children still live.  He retired last year from the Sonoma Valley Inn where he had worked more than 10 years as a groundskeeper.  

He connected with La Luz Center in 2009 and a conversation soon began about his dream of becoming an American Citizen.  Although he has significant ties to his home country, it has always been his hope that his wife and children would join him in Sonoma.  Unfortunately, due to broken US Immigration Policy, this never happened.  Francisco says that “working with the staff at La Luz was what really motivated me to realize my hopes for citizenship.”  He worked with La Luz over the course of about a year preparing him for the interview, saving every penny and finally filing the application with the help of a La Luz family advocate.  Francisco was sworn in as an American Citizen on April 4th.  Congratulations Don Francisco!!

 

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When I was the Human Resources manager at Skylark nursery in the late 80s and early 90s Don Pancho became a worker there. He and I became very good friends and after the nursery closed we would meet and talk about old times and his life in Michoacan. He has always been a very warm and friendly person and always someone who would take a few moments to say hello and catch up with our family news. What a great moment for Pancho. Patricio Garcia

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