For many immigrants, family is a powerful draw. Eight years ago, Luiz and Adeli Machado moved to the United States from southern Brazil, primarily to be near their three children, who are naturalized US citizens, and their three grandchildren.
As Machado explains, “Since I am 72 years old, and my wife is 76, we thought it would be best to be close to our children again.”
Yet, they are not only doting grandparents — they are an active part of the economy. “I try to work as much as I can to generate extra income here, since my only constant source of revenue comes from my retirement from Brazil. Usually, I provide mechanical repair services and deliver online food orders. In the past, I’ve also worked as an Uber driver,” says Machado.
They are also eager to become US citizens — but finances have stood in the way. “We came with the immigrant visa based on family ties with our children. They’ve filed our green card petitions, so we’ve been legal US residents since 2014. About three years ago, we started thinking about the possibility of applying for citizenship, but never made any progress. Our income was limited, and we could not afford to pay all the USCIS application fees at once.”
“Then we heard about One Percent for America. The loan was crucial; it really made a difference for us to move forward with the citizenship plan.”
The Machados were OPA’s first borrowers; we’re excited to see their plans come to fruition.
I always say there's no better place in the world to live than in the United States. Here, we have a quality of life that, unfortunately, we do not have in our native country. As we have lived here for almost eight years now, citizenship will also have great symbolic importance, both for my wife and for our American children.”