Maura, her attorney Neysa Nankervis and her family pose for a photo.

From right to left, Neysa Nankervis (Maura's ImmDef Lawyer), Maura, her two daughters, and her husband.  

Maura has always had high aspirations and a big heart. While living in El Salvador and working tirelessly to survive the poverty and violence brought on by the Salvadorian Civil War, Maura dreamed of becoming a doctor. She has always had a calling for helping to heal others, and though circumstances did not allow her to pursue her dream, she found other ways to help people. 

“Back there [El Salvador], we had no money for regular medicine. I needed to be efficient, getting the most effective remedies for the least amount of money, and that is how I got interested in alternative medicine. I read books and taught myself what I could. And I used that to help treat and prevent illness in others around me.” 

While journeying thousands of miles to reach the US, Maura was given the title of “healer” by her traveling companions because she used her knowledge of alternative remedies to help them ease the enormous suffering that comes with the treacherous journey. 


In early 2020, Maura and her family were granted a U-Visa due to a traumatic encounter with violence. Maura has spent so much of her life healing others, but her recovery taught her to heal herself, and now she feels strong and determined to pursue her dream. 

Maura holds up a resume which ImmDef staff helped her write.

Maura with her first resume and cover letter. 

After representing her and winning her case, we helped Maura write a resume and cover letter. She hopes to land a job providing care for children, seniors, or folks with special needs so that she can advance on her path to become a wellness professional. She plans on saving up to go to school to become a naturopath or nurse. Maura, like most other people seeking asylum, is filled with compassion and yearns to contribute to

society. Our clients are already giving so much to this country. When we support them, our society as a whole reaps the benefits. 

To learn more about ways to join ImmDef on its mission to support immigrant communities against systemic injustice in the legal system, click here.

Clients name changed to protect their identity.