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Welcome to this edition of The Monarch, the Opening Doors Newsletter.
Through it we let our friends know what we’re doing and how they can help in our mission: “Supporting Families, Protecting Youth in the immigrant community.
The Monarch Spotlight: Loi Dang
Loi has dedicated his professional life to helping immigrant families
Immigration law takes a special kind of person to keep devotion not only to their profession but also to their clients. Loi Dang has had a long professional career that never left him with a dull moment.

Loi was born in Hanh Thien Village, Vietnam, which he translated as “Do a Good Thing to People.” His family lived in the southern region of Vietnam after the Geneva Convention of 1954, due to their desire to live in a free country. He earned his full education in Vietnam and participated in the war as an Airborne Ranger. He was injured in combat against the Việt Cộng and had to leave the military, which eventually made him find his lifelong vocation of advocating for and helping refugees and immigrants. Loi speaks four languages: Vietnamese, French, Spanish, and English. Thus, he is able to communicate with many clients in their native languages, allowing him to assist a vast number of people with their immigration legal needs.

One of these clients was a Vietnamese Refugee with U.S. Citizenship who wanted to bring his fiancée to the U.S. from Vietnam. This brought a challenge in terms of getting approval from the U.S. Government to allow her in. He first applied for a “Fiancée Visa,” which usually takes a few months to adjudicate, letting couples know if the application has been approved or denied; however, this couple had been waiting for over two years and still had no response from the U.S. Government. They grew inpatient and decided to have her apply for a Tourist Visa, which she received. After she came to the U.S. to see her future husband, they felt a need to go ahead and get married. This can be considered very dangerous because it could lead to the fiancée being charged with visa fraud for getting married within 90 days of her arrival with a Tourist Visa. They eventually received in the mail the “Fiancée Visa” approval, but she was in the country already and they were married. Being in such a difficult situation, they asked for help from Opening Doors and fortunately landed in the care of Loi Dang. Thanks to his diligent efforts, the couple was able to successfully integrate into American society, once she became a Legal Permanent Resident. Now she wants to continue her journey and eventually apply for U.S. Citizenship.

Loi has given most of his life to the practice of immigration law, and as part of that, he has put great effort on mentoring young practitioners at different non-profit agencies he’s worked at. His specialty is the family reunification aspect of immigration law: it brings him great joy seeing families coming back together. He loves to take selfies and having pictures taken with his clients and their families, and so when we asked him for a photo for this piece, he gave us one where he’s surrounded by families, in a church building – what better depiction of the ODIS spirit! A truly special person, Loi knows how important it is to have families reunited. Loi’s career shows how exceptional he truly is.


Written by ODIS student volunteer Alina Rosales, TWU '20 Political Science
We're grateful to Denton's music community!
On Sunday, August 9, Denton music promoters hosted a LiveStream benefit concert for Opening Doors, featuring a lineup of bands from Denton and places beyond. It was quite a success, raising close to $1,000 for ODIS, most of it from small amount donations during the span of the 2-hour show!
Special thanks go to the participating music acts
Oceanator and Never Friends, who also donated to ODIS the proceeds from their respective appearances at the show. We were also able to educate the audience on what ODIS does, and how we protect families and support youth by helping them obtain immigration legal benefits they qualify for.
We are very grateful to have been selected for this benefit concert, only the second they’ve done so far. The idea of these shows started because of the Pandemic -- as an alternative “safely-distanced” music venue -- and they decided to select a local cause for each show. After a successful first show, where donations went to the humanitarian effort on behalf of the Green Tree Estates families in Southeast Denton, an ODIS “guardian angel” whispered our name into their ears, and they latched on to it!
We hope this is only the beginning for further collaboration with the very active and flourishing Denton music community, and we thank the promoters: Regina Bugarin Bookings, EMO Night Denton, and Barf Wave.
North Texas Giving Day is almost here!
North Texas Giving Day is almost here, and you can show your support of Opening Doors by donating through the website.
 
STEPS TO GIVE:
  • Donate on North Texas Giving Day 9.17.20 or make your gift early beginning September 1
  • Tell your friends why you give with the #NTxGivingDay hashtag
We join the pandemic relief effort for our community
At Opening Doors we have adapted our focus and operating protocols to these Pandemic times. Most of our work is performed remotely, with minimal physical contact with clients. Also, starting in early July we have expanded our scope of activity to become more involved in local relief efforts. In particular, we found a niche we can fulfill quite well, and that is providing Spanish interpretation services while volunteering at the largest local food bank in Denton: Denton Community Food Center. Hence, we’ve recruited bilingual ODIS volunteers to assist with this worthy cause: every Monday and Wednesday morning we help with client check-in at the food bank, while also communicating with Spanish speaking clients in their native language! Last Wednesday, September 9, there was a record turnout: we helped serve 219 families, who received over 20,000 pounds of groceries!
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Our mailing address is:
2200 N Bell Ave, Denton, TX 76209
(940) 382-0096
https://www.odisinc.org

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Butterfly artwork by Blanca Tovar, DACA recipient

 






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Opening Doors International Services, Inc. · 2200 N Bell Ave · Denton, TX 76209-2013 · USA

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