2 siblings donated 10,000 laptops to kids, now being forced out of the US. Help them stay.
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This petition is for Miriam Martincova and Adrian Martinca in hopes of being able to get our E2 Visas reinstated, and regain our legal status in the United States, before we have to "voluntarily depart" by June 21st, 2021.
Our visa was valid till 2023, but we were 2.5 weeks late to renew our i94, which resulted in us being detailed, having our Visa cancelled, and being told we have to leave. Our i94 expired May 3rd, during which time we were in the midst of a 'crisis response' delivering 350 devices to children in schools, in time for state testing on May 10th. Unfortunately, this meant that our own due date was overlooked. The US has been our home for 14 years. It is where our own company and its 15 employees are based. It is where, in 2020 alone, we donated 10,000 free laptops to children from title 1 schools in our home county, Guilford County, NC and 1000s more across the country. We now face losing everything, our home, our livelihood, our family. Please help us by signing our petition, so we can get US Customs and Border Protection to give us our visa back, and allow us to stay here.
Our goal is to help at least 1 million students nation wide check out our video OPEN Doors Challenge
One of our first events to celebrate student dreams check out our video: OPEN Doors Event
A story of immigration, the American Dream, and how my brother and I got arrested:
I’m breathing for the first time today since May 21st, 2021 2:30am when, at the border of Canada and the United States, the world stopped moving from the words “You’re under arrest. You can wait here while we process the paperwork and confirm they have room for you in jail.” —the memory of it still makes my heart stop. The 3 hours of waiting before we were told that there was no room in jails so we could wait there instead- the following 2 hours of waiting to hear from a judge that was to decide our fate and whether we were going to be banned from our home of 14 years- the most intense 5 minutes to decide on our own whether to risk the potential of an unfavorable court decision that would result in a ban or sign for “voluntary departure in 30 days” with a chance of return - the last hour and 5 minutes of sitting there, numb at the loss and uncertainty of what was to come—- 6 hours and 10 minutes is how long it took for both my brother and I to be stripped of our permission to call America home and for the 22 years of sacrifices my parents have been making to be in serious jeopardy of being for naught.
Today though, I’m breathing because I finally have hope that there’s something we can do to overturn the decision.
My family has always viewed our ability to pursue the American Dream as an opportunity that is to be cherished and protected. Though the sacrifices we’ve made have been countless— leave a sense of comfort, certainty, and community behind with each move as we made our way from Slovakia to Canada to the United States- each one of them has opened up doors to more opportunities than my parents had ever dreamed of.
Adrian has dedicated his life towards making a difference in the world through both his for-purpose and non-profit organizations- ultimately, they connect our communities to low-cost or free laptops, technology solutions, and community resources. Students in our community that had once felt alone; that struggled to keep up because some days there wasn’t enough time at the library; that faced impossible situations because there simply was no gas to drive them to a place with public wifi to do their homework on their parents’ smartphone— these students are who Adrian reaches out to to show them his belief in them and that he will support their dreams, with the first step being gifted a tool for their success. It is the core of who he is; it is his American Dream to make that effort global.
I completed my bachelors at UNC at Chapel Hill in 2016 as the first person in my family to graduate from college. My mission is to simply be part of the reason why people's lives change for the better- whether it eventually takes the form of going into healthcare or creating an artistic enterprise that brings art into our communities as a form of therapy, opportunity, and general expression is unknown. Currently, however, my sense of purpose thrives in being by Adrian’s side in his pursuits.
Together, we have touched many lives. I can tell you the numbers from just 2020: 10 thousand students in our county were given laptops so they could go to school from the safety of their home; thousands more students were given the same solution nationally; as an essential business we had 40 people throughout the first few months of the pandemic when people were becoming unemployed. The problem with numbers though, is that they turn into statistics, and our students are not statistics. Our students are Jelu, age 14, who wants to be a cardio thoracic surgeon; Eden, age 10, who wants to use coding to make devices that will keep loved ones safe; Allison, age 8, who wants to be a scientist; Shawn, age 13, who simply wants to do well in school so he can graduate from high school as the first in his family so they can be proud—our students are people with stories that we fight for so they can have opportunities just as our parents had fought for us.
It was 350 of these students with equally impactful stories that we could not leave when we found our i94 needed to be renewed on May 3rd, 2021. The urgency of upcoming state exams and our desire to ensure equal access for our students, drove us forward.
We had not known that being 2.5 weeks late for the renewal would mean that we were no longer welcome in America, that the visa we had counted on till 2023 would be so quickly and easily canceled and taken away. As a “merciful” gesture, we were given 30 days to depart- meaning we have till June 21st, 2021. The process to be able to return will take several months during which time we will lose much of the progress we have made and many of those seeking our help will be neglected and our ability to currently employ will be downsized.
Our ray of hope is that if enough voices are heard and we reach those who can reinstate our permission to be here, we can stay and continue to fight for those that need us most and continue getting our students connected to the resources they need to be competitive and successful in the 21st century. America is our home. Please help us fight for our dreams and sign the petition so we can stay.
About our mission: Technology for the Future https://technologyforthefuture.org/2021/06/03/help-save-our-dream/
To support us in this process: https://gofund.me/5bc43e9d
Today: Miriam is counting on you
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