As a freelance investigative reporter, I used to collaborate with media outlets based in the USA and Europe (Miami Herald, OCCRP) to do the kind of deep digging required to disseminate powerful cross-border investigations.
Before moving to the US, I was the Founder and Head of the North America Investigations Division in Transparency International Russia, a center for anti-corruption research. In 2019 I fled Russia due to safety issues related to my professional activity as a journalist. I was lucky to win a fellowship that placed me at The Wall Street Journal (NYC newsroom) for five months. Shortly after my internship, I applied for political asylum and 6 months later I submitted the Application for Employment Authorization. Until the present day, both applications are pending with an indefinite deadline. (Case and receipt numbers will be provided upon your request)
The global pandemic had a significant adverse impact on the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) operations. Specifically, USCIS Application Support Centers (ASCs) and Field Offices were closed from March until June 4 and then partially reopened. As a result work authorization applications according to USCIS are now taking 6 months or longer in many cases leaving undocumented immigrants like me without an opportunity to provide for themselves.
I’m currently based in NYC where I rent a room in a two-bedroom apartment. ( The copy of the lease will be provided upon your request). My rent is $1200 per month utilities included. So far I’ve been living off of my life savings that are almost gone. I’ve got only food money left for another month or two, and I’m now two months behind my rent. My landlord is threatening with eviction as NYC housing courts are reopening in late March. I’m all by myself in a foreign county with no family and no one to turn to for help. I’m scared. I didn’t know I was choosing between safety and poverty when I applied for asylum in the USA.
Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask you for but if a donation of $2400 is something you’d consider that would eliminate the possibility of my homeless future and would be a huge stress reliever. However, I’d greatly appreciate any financial help S4SNYC could provide.
Thank you for standing by me in this challenging time.