Tragedy, son's actions spur path to U.S. citzenship for family

Tragedy spurs path to citizenship

DALLAS -- Not a day goes by that Nancy Sanchez doesn't think about her daughter. In 2014, Katherine was raped and murdered by a family member.

"She's always with me," Sanchez said. "It breaks my heart because, for me, it's like it happened yesterday."

Sanchez, though undocumented, didn't hesitate to work with police. The family's cooperation led to an arrest and conviction. That crime took place three years ago. The family could have obtained legal status through what's called a U-VISA.

"I didn't want anything to do with it (U-Visa) because ... I felt like it was taking something good from what happened," Nancy said.

Here's where her opinion started to change. Her son Victor is now 17 and a junior in High School. Nancy said he's a great student. But without legal status in the United States, his options are limited. Sanchez tried to pursue the U-Visa but didn't have the money.

"I could see his sadness," Nancy said. "That would break my heart."

That's where Victor's mission started. He secretly started a GoFundMe page and with his step-dad's blessing, Victor told his family's story on the news.

At the time the WFAA story aired, Victor had raised about $3,500 for legal fees. A day later that number jumped to more than $7,400.

"I was just happy," Victor said. "It means that my dreams are going to come true."

His mom had no idea her son was raising money until she came across an article on her Facebook feed featuring her son's picture.

"I felt a knot it my stomach," she said. "I start getting cold sweats because you think the worst, and when I saw the title of the article I thought, 'Wow.'"

They were overwhelmed by the donations but truly touched by the supportive comments from around the world.

"Feel free to dream -- be a role model for others," read Victor from one post. "Let your soul remain beautiful and full of love."

They now have the money and peace of mind to officially apply for U.S. citizenship.

"I couldn't stop crying," Nancy said. "My God, sometimes you feel that you don't deserve having a son this good."

There's no good that can come from a child's murder, but out of their profound tragedy came a new life and start as a family.
 

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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