Dying Kennett mushroom worker gets lifelong dream of becoming a legal U.S. citiz…

KENNETT SQUARE >> For the longest time — and particularly ever since Donald Trump turned president earlier this yr — Joaquin Ayllon Cordova needed to be an American citizen. He took citizenship courses at South Mill Kaolin Mushroom Farm, the identical place that was raided by customs officers a few months again.

Turning into a U.S. citizen would give him safety for himself and his household. Two of his youngsters stay with him within the Kennett space, one lives in Virginia, and one in his hometown of Mexico. However he wanted to study the one hundred questions required for preparation to grow to be a authorized citizen. Courses couldn’t be missed.

After months of good attendance, Cordova sixty four, filed the appliance for citizenship and accomplished the required fingerprinting paperwork. However when he missed class one night, Elaine Girod Marnell, director of labor relations on the mushroom agency, turned involved. She found that Cordova was at Jennersville Hospital, recognized with superior stage of most cancers.

Marnell teaches the category in Spanish to those that are “grandfathered” in — those that are at the very least 50 years previous and having everlasting residence for 20 or extra years. All others should take the check in English.


Marnell, understanding Cardova was gravely unwell, contacted Lorainne Martinez on the Chester County Migrant Ministry, who assists individuals in filling of their citizenship purposes. Martinez instantly contacted the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers and requested for them to ship somebody to Jennersville hospital to conduct the examination at Cordova’s bedside.

Earlier final month, James Graham, an Immigration Providers Officer, arrived on the hospital, with Cordova’s household at his aspect. Graham requested the citizenship examination questions in English, and one among Cordova’s youngsters interpreted.

“He might solely reply the questions by mouthing it as a result of he couldn’t speak anymore,” Marnell stated. “It was fairly one thing to see.”

Cordova, who has labored at South Mill for the previous 10 years, handed the check to turn into a authorized U.S. citizen.

“Everybody had little flags out,” Marnell stated. “He was completely thrilled, particularly now as a result of this (immigration) difficulty is such a disturbing matter.”

Cordova, who was lately transferred to a hospice nursing facility in West Chester, now needs his youngsters to grow to be U.S. residents.

“I feel this can encourage them to take action,” Marnell stated.

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