Hear from our Volunteers and their Clients

Our goal at VECINA is to empower our volunteers to advocate for their clients and change their lives for the better. We are thrilled to work with many amazing people, and love hearing about their experiences participating in our projects.

Dicky Grigg has been a VECINA Defensive Asylum and ReUnite volunteer since early 2020 and is a wonderful advocate for his VECINA clients. Dicky is a personal injury and has handled more than 1,000 cases. He’s tried over 200 cases in 40 counties throughout Texas. In 2019, Dicky was inducted as a Legal Legend by the Litigation Section of the Texas Bar. The Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Lawyers selected him as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2006. The Capital Area Trial Lawyers has given Mr. Grigg its highest award for commitment to the law, his clients, and public service. The Austin Bar Association has recognized his accomplishments by honoring him with the Distinguished Lawyer Award. Dicky has served as president of the Texas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Horacio Gallegos was born in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, and grew up on both sides of the Texas/Mexico border. He is the owner of Digital Assets Factory, where he enhances client brand awareness and profit growth by delivering data-driven Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and digital content marketing solutions to local and global small & mid-sized businesses in multiple industries. Horacio first joined our team as a VECINA volunteer as an interpreter for ReUnite, but then quickly added other projects. He’s been involved in our Huisha project and Defensive Asylum project as well.

Linh is a ReUnite volunteer and is a compassionate, thorough, and highly skilled attorney who cares deeply for her clients and is committed to producing the best possible outcome for every case. She has successfully helped clients obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status (green cards), U.S. Citizenship, work authorization, waivers of inadmissibility, DACA, humanitarian parole, visas for religious workers, as well as petition for relatives and employees, seek asylum, and defend against removal (deportation). Linh graduated with honors from Regent University School of Law in 2011. She is licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Due to the federal nature of immigration and nationality law she is able to represent clients in immigration cases nationwide. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the AILA Texas Chapter. Linh speaks Vietnamese and enjoys representing clients of all cultures.

After the murders of her daughter and son-in-law in Mexico at the hands of gang members, Rosa* brought her one and three-year-old grandchildren to the U.S. border in search of safety, as the gang members who killed the children’s parents continued to threaten the lives of the young children if Rosa’s adult son refused to join the gang. Rosa sought to enter the United States with her family to seek asylum, but they were turned back into Mexico under a policy related to COVID-19. As soon as VECINA learned about this family’s situation, we jumped into action. One team of volunteers was able to request an exemption for Rosa from the COVID-19 policy so that she and the children could enter the U.S. However, when the family crossed the border, the children were taken from Rosa by U.S. immigration authorities because she was not their biological parent, and the children were placed into government custody. At that point, another team of VECINA volunteers assisted Rosa with the paperwork and advocacy needed to secure the release of her grandchildren into her care. Rosa and the children are now living together safely in the United States.

*Rosa is a pseudonym.


First and foremost, I want to thank God for placing good people on my path, a journey that I made without fully knowing all the challenges which I would have to face. I am grateful for all of you who were involved in my asylum case. I did not know that so many people were supporting me, dedicating your time and work without asking for anything in return. When I was in Mexico I had no idea how difficult the asylum process would be. You found me and offered your support and work unconditionally. You were with me all the way up until the day of court. You were as happy as I was that day!

I know that I am ever closer to being with my daughters. They are my heart, in two halves. They have hope that they will see their papa again one day. MANY THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. Never regret having your good hearts, everything good you do will multiply,

The other day I mentioned to somebody that in my professional work on ships, I faced extreme situations on the ocean and afterwards I could see a rainbow on the horizon. The last two years I have been living in a storm without being able to see that rainbow on the horizon but thanks to you, I now see it again.



The team at VECINA moved this case forward with such grace and diligence. The notes that were kept from the beginning and the clear communication and reminders were excellent. There’s no way that we could have moved this somewhat complicated case forward without the administrative back end work from VECINA. [VECINA staff] are exceptionally helpful! After having experience on a couple of cases already, I felt confident speaking with the prospective sponsor to let her know what she needed to do to make her case as strong as possible. The sponsor was also very responsive and grateful for the assistance and guidance, which made for a case that did not get stalled, giving the child the best chance of release and in the quickest way possible.

Karen Green (administrative support volunteer)

VECINA’s training materials were detailed, thorough, and thoughtful. The training was presented in a digestible and easy-to-follow format, and the attorney FAQ seemed to anticipate every possible scenario that might arise in the case. VECINA’s staff was remarkably responsive and extremely helpful in resolving some of the more unusual issues that arose as the case progressed. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have collaborated with this wonderful group of consummate professionals, and to have learned from and leaned on their expertise in helping the client obtain her young family member’s release from detention. This group represents all that is right and good in the legal profession.

Vita Zeltzer (pro bono attorney)

I loved seeing the direct results of our effort and the happy look on our client’s face when her son was finally released. I cried. It was such a beautiful and joyous moment for them. She sent us a photo and it was the highlight of my whole year. After all of the agonizing days of fighting and waiting and comforting her while we waited, the satisfaction of having been part of something bigger than me and seeing those results was more than I could have imagined. […]  While there were many days I wanted to fall apart or give up on this case, we kept going and just seeing our client reunited with her son made it all worth it.

Erika Keith (administrative support volunteer)