Philip McGugin is an Air Force veteran, a national champion auto restorer, and a former "McGruff the Crime Dog" for the Harris County, Texas, Sheriff's Department.
In 2012, the mother of his children abandoned him, leaving him to raise their new twin babies, Justice and Jade. He has raised them as a single dad for five years. Jade was the victim of medical malpractice and is severely disabled as a result. She received a stint in her brain at six months old. Shortly afterwards, both kids caught RSV. Jade was left flat on her back in intensive care. Her head swelled dramatically and the resulting pressure on her brain left her deaf, blind and unable to walk or speak. She often stops breathing in the middle of the night and requires constant care and attention.
Then Philip met Maria Cristina Casido Tavares, a citizen of Colombia, online and they chatted every night for years. He saved enough money to fly her to the U.S. where she fell in love with Jade and Justice. Now they take turns sitting up with Jade at night, changing her diaper, altering her position to avoid bed sores, and bathing her. Jade was once given three years to live. She is now five years old. And Maria is the only mother Justice has ever known.
After they were married, Philip and Maria saved their money to file for Maria's green card. A lawyer told them they qualified for a fee waiver of the substantial government filing fees and that they could merely pay a legal fee of $2000. After receiving their first payment, the lawyer told the couple their "fee waiver" had been denied (even though no such fee waiver exists) and that they had to pay her $4500 more (even though the true filing fees are only $1760). When they could not come up with the additional money, she refused to return the $1500 they had already given her.
I want to raise the filing fees and legal fees for Philip to file for Maria's green card, a total of $4,260.00.
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