SANFORD, Fla. - The Sanford community is rallying behind a beloved resident who has been stuck in Haiti since December because of immigration issues.
Henry Dorvil, 24, is known as the hardest-working man in Sanford.
"Everyone who hangs out downtown knows and loves Henry. He's just a really cool cat, (a) positive guy who exudes a lot of positive energy," Help Henry campaign organizer Dan Ping said.
Dorvil also has big dreams and recently started his own video production company, but his plans came to a halt when he started having immigration issues.
He was born in Haiti and moved to the United States with his family when he was 5 months old. He said everyone in his family lives in the country legally, except him. He left the U.S. in December with hopes of one day returning as a permanent resident.
"Everybody said, 'Don't go, you're not going to come back,' but I was like, 'There's no point in me being an immigrant.' All these rules changing, we're going through a new presidency right now. So I said, 'You know what, I'm going back,'" Dorvil said.
Problems with paperwork have kept Dorvil in Haiti for the past four months. Dorvil's family has hired an immigration attorney.
"Due to Hurricane Matthew and the system in general, they're really backlogged and it's going to be quite a while before his case is even looked at," Help Henry campaign organizer Christina Hollerbach said.
Dorvil is trying to get his case expedited. He said he needs to get home to help take care of his disabled mother.
That's where Sanford residents are stepping in to get results.
Hollerbach and Ping are behind the Help Henry campaign. Together, they are collecting letters from the community to send on Dorvil's behalf.
"He really needs support from the community to prove that he was a good citizen and has value in our society," Hollerbach said. "He said that was really important to them, that they know his value, so I think these letters will illustrate that."
The duo hopes the letters will have a positive impact on Dorvil's case.
"The real asset of the city of Sanford is the people and how we come together and help each other," Ping said.
Dorvil said that support has helped keep his spirits up.
"It reassured me, kind of gave me more confidence. You know, you can get through it, stop worrying. You know your community has your back," Dorvil said. "It kind of reminds you what a community is, that's the important thing and that's what Sanford thrives on."
Anyone who would like to send a letter on Dorvil's behalf should email Christina@Hollerbachs.com no later than April 7.
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