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Sanchez Family Case Files

Celia

Celia Sanchez

Wife of Hector, Mother of Junior, Emilia, Vicki, Gloria, Alejandro and Carmen
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Married to Hector for nearly forty years, Celia Sanchez has been in this country for about two decades. Devoted to her family, Celia has never worked outside the home, and does not drive. She delights in cooking for her children, taking care of the home, and taking care of the grandchildren of her oldest children.

Given her desire to stay close to home and family, Mrs. Sanchez has not developed the proficiency with English that her husband has. This has been a barrier to her efforts to care for the family. For example, in the relatively few instances that she has been so ill that she required the services of a physician, she needed her son to go with her to interpret for her. Her ability to participate in parent-teacher conferences has, over the years, been very limited. And when one of her children came in contact with the juvenile justice system, she was unable to understand fully the legal implications of the choices she faced.

Recently, the son of her sister Delores came to the United States from Mexico (see Roberto’s history).

The rest of Mrs. Sanchez’s extended family all still lives in Mexico. She returned for a brief visit a few years ago for the funeral of her mother, but, given the expense and time involved, she rarely has contact with her siblings, nieces and nephews, and aunts and uncles, even though her extended family was quite close when she was growing up.

Mrs. Sanchez has been concerned with how to stretch their money to accommodate the children’s needs, as well as her needs and those of her husband. She wanted her husband to apply for food stamps, but he is adamantly opposed, and she is unwilling to go against her husband. She has secretly been obtaining commodities from her Church pantry. Since she is a parishioner at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, her visits there do not raise her husband’s suspicions.

  • She is worried that there is not adequate income for the food the family needs, given the two extra mouths to feed and the variability in Hector’s employment, especially during the recent economic downturn.
  • Mrs. Sanchez is unable to proficiently understand and communicate in English. The Sanchez family needs more information about the process of permanently adopting Celia’s grandson, Joey, especially if their daughter will contest this move.
  • Celia is concerned about the tension between her husband and her over the presence of her nephew, Roberto, in their household.

Keep these goals in mind throughout your analysis

  • Find additional resources for food and possibly income support
  • With Hector’s active involvement, seek clarification of the legal issues associated with the presence of Roberto in their home and the issues involved in Joey’s adoption
  • Enroll in a class for persons learning English as a second language
  • What are Mrs. Sanchez’s language rights, when, for example, she needs translation assistance within the court or school systems? Is the information available from Limited English Proficiency, an interagency federal website, helpful to you as you advocate for her language access (www.lep.gov)?
  • Does the fact that the Sanchez family is mostly Lawful Permanent Residents, not yet U.S. citizens, affect the kinds of income supports for which they might qualify? Check out the resources regarding non-citizen eligibility for means-tested benefits at the National Immigration Law Center (www.nilc.org)

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Ecomap

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Critical Thinking Questions

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