By: Shabnam Lotfi - Published on May 21st, 2020
For Immediate Release, May 21, 2020
Contact: Jessica Slind, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael’s Frozen Custard Reopens Monroe Street Location
Owner’s Spouse Finally Obtains U.S. Visa and Reclaims General Manager Role
MADISON— The owner of Michael’s Frozen Custard, a beloved Madison, Wisconsin institution, reopened its Monroe Street location on May 7, 2020, after his spouse, the business’ general manager, was finally granted a U.S. visa after a long, painful wait outside the country.
The owner, Michael Dix, faced having to shutter Michael’s Frozen Custard entirely after his spouse, Sergio De La O Hernandez, was denied a U.S. visa. The Monroe Street location closed on September 9, 2019, as a result of the denial. Sergio had been kept out of the U.S. since August of 2018. The couple had hope that they would soon be reunited after Sergio won his appeal with the help and support of the Madison community.
With renewed hope that Sergio would finally be returning home, Michael began to prepare Michael’s Frozen Custard’s Monroe Street location to reopen. Sergio was granted his U.S. visa on May 7, 2020, and he finally re-entered the U.S. later that day. Sergio and Michael were reunited shortly thereafter. To celebrate, they re-opened the Monroe Street location that same day.
Michael and Sergio are now working hard to get their business up to full speed, to welcome customers back to their Monroe Street location, and to find a moment to catch their breaths after a very long and painful separation. The couple shared their thoughts on their experience:
We are so immensely grateful. We are grateful to finally be together again. We are grateful to every single person that wrote a letter or called their Senator and Representative. We are grateful for all the smiling faces and the kind words people have shared as they come back to Michael’s on Monroe Street. We want nothing more than to show our love and gratitude, and to bring joy to every neighbor, customer, and supporter.
Attorney Jessica Slind, an immigration attorney with Lotfi Legal LLC, a Madison-based immigration law firm, who handled Michael and Sergio’s case, shared her perspective:
Michael and Sergio’s story is a love story and a very American story. This is a couple who endured great obstacles and whose love weathered a storm and came through stronger. This is a community whose love and support for their neighbors and local custard shop helped save the business and reunite the owners. This is a happy ending to be celebrated by all.
But sadly, the hurdles that Michael and Sergio faced when up against the American immigration system are not unique. This complex and overly harsh system separates families every day. I hope Michael and Sergio’s story sheds light on how good people are suffering. May Michael and Sergio’s love and our community’s love for Michael’s Frozen Custard give us all hope for what we can accomplish when we come together.