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Community raises $3,000 for Ledyard immigrant facing removal

September 9, 2018

Ledyard — The community has raised more than 495 renewal fee toward seeking a green card, which costs 750.

“Everything is more money,” said Alvarado Montoya, who works two part-time jobs.

Alvarado Montoya said it was a coworker’s idea to start the GoFundMe page. She set the goal at 1,000 for lawyer fees, 1,225 for the green card — and watched with disbelief as about 500 and I would have been happy with that,” said Alvarado Montoya, who expressed thanks to those who donated and hopes one day to become a teacher. “I just keep crying because I don’t believe it. It wasn’t just money. It’s like my dreams and hopes are going to happen now.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the campaign had raised $3,274.

The backstory 

Alvarado Montoya said she understands it when people suggest those who are undocumented should have come here legally in the first place.

She and her mother would have loved to do that, she said.

Her mother fled Guatemala in the midst of a 36-year civil war — only to end up with an abusive alcoholic husband in Mexico. Alvarado Montoya said her father would steal any money her mother earned and sometimes beat her so badly she was hospitalized for days — days during which Alvarado Montoya went hungry because her mother was the one who fed her.

“I watch my mother get dragged,” Alvarado Montoya said, crying. “And the police were corrupt. If we called them, they were going to help my father, if anything.”

Alvarado Montoya said the journey to the United States took months, including a portion of time spent imprisoned by those who had brought them to the border.

“The people kidnapped us and wouldn’t let us go because mom needed to make and pay them more money,” she said. “I tried to erase that part of my life because it was just so bad. I would never wish that on anybody.”

To apply from outside the United States requires all kinds of documentation, Alvarado Montoya added — documentation that neither she nor her mother had.

“If we could have come here legally, why wouldn’t we?” she said. “Why wouldn’t we want to go on (an) airplane? It’s much more comfortable than the back of (a) trailer truck.”

l.boyle@theday.com

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