A proud daughter has shared a heartwarming clip of her immigrant dad’s excitable reaction to receiving his permanent residency in the U.S. after years of waiting to see his family.
Jacqueline Pantaleon, 26, from Las Vegas, Nevada, captured her father, Eledoni’s wonderful reaction at her family home on her mother’s birthday.
Eledoni (pronounced El-leh-don-e), 49, moved to the United States from his family home in Guerrero, Mexico, when he was 15 years old, heading to live with his older brother in California.
Due to Eledoni’s immigration status, he was not able to return home for decades, working two jobs back to back to support his family.
Such restrictions were tough for Eledoni, who was not able to head to Mexico for the likes of his father’s funeral in 2003.
He started working on his permanent residency in late 2018, Jacqueline said, but due to a number of slowdowns – some caused by the coronavirus pandemic – the application process lasted years and cost a lot of money.
In early 2023, though, Eledoni received his work permit before his permanent residency card arrived on August 11.
With Jacqueline and her sister having their suspicions about what her father’s letter might be about, they took out their phones when she returned home from work and started to open it.
When Eledoni discovered his permanent residency card was inside, he held the card in the air and jumped for joy, breaking into a happy dance.
Now that his residency has been granted, Eledoni can head back to Mexico to visit family before reentering the United States legally.
He is planning a trip to see his family in December, Jacqueline said – the first time he will have been home in more than 30 years.
Jacqueline said: “It was such a wholesome moment.
“I was very happy but, at the same time, very emotional.
“I felt so relieved and my heart filled with joy – like, ‘Finally, you’re free.’
“I always tear up rewatching the video.
“We all gathered around and gave my dad big hugs and celebrated that day.
“Everyone on social media was so happy for my dad.
“I get lots of positive comments and wishes daily since the video has gone viral on TikTok.
“The video has brought tears of joy to so many people.
“The amount of love I have received on the video daily has been unbelievable.”