Katherine Bates Ruiz's Letter

Dear Honorable Immigration Judge:

I am writing on behalf of my friends, Emily Guzman and Pedro Perez Guzman. When my family moved to North Carolina 2 years ago, Emily and Pedro were the first friends we made. They welcomed us into their home and introduced us to the community. Pedro, in particular, was extremely helpful to my husband and supported him as he looked for a job.
In the time I have known Pedro, I have seen him to be a loving husband, a dedicated father who devotes time and energy to his young son and is raising him to be a compassionate, determined person. Pedro has never been anything but an asset to the community, working hard to support himself and his family. His English is flawless, and he encourages other immigrants to improve their English as well. He works hard to be a role model to young people in the community as well as other immigrant men, encouraging them to educate themselves, work hard, learn English, and be productive members of society. In the time I have known, I have seen him stop to assist motorists stranded by the side of the road, help neighbors with car and home repairs, and rescue stray dogs he finds. He has never turned down a request for assistance from friends, acquaintances, or even strangers. He is deeply generous, sharing not only his knowledge and skills but his possessions to any who may need them. He is a valuable member of the community, and someone who I very much have missed while he has been detained. As a social worker, I see Pedro as a true success story – a young man who overcame difficult odds and some youthful mistakes to not only survive, but thrive, and be stronger for the obstacles of his past. I also see him as a valuable community resource, providing a positive role model for community youth and adults alike. He is a true American success story in many ways.
While I understand that the United States needs to take a strong stand on illegal immigration, I think it is worth noting that Pedro arrived in this country as a young child, and had little choice in the matter.  Pedro’s wife Emily is a bilingual licensed counselor, working for a local non-profit. Their son, while young, is an extremely intelligent and compassionate child. If they leave, the community and the United States will be poorer for this talented, caring family’s absence. I beg you to please take these points into consideration. The Deportation of Pedro Guzman would be a huge loss not only to his family and friends, but to the community in which they live as well. Please take this into consideration as you hear his case.

Respectfully yours,

Katherine Bates Ruiz
Friend of the family


Pedro was detained at Stewart Detention Center for 19 months.

NACARA is the type of relief Pedro was granted. Click here to find out what it is.