One of our primary coffee suppliers, Timoteo Minas, has had his U.S. visa application rejected for no apparent reason. We are sponsoring his visit to the US for a valuable upcoming business exchange. We need your help to reverse the decision, which is why we are launching this petition to tell the U.S. embassy:
Let Timo In.
We hoped to bring Timoteo on his first visit to the United States so that he can see where the coffee he grows is roasted and served in Portland. He would also attend the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle to learn from other coffee professionals. This decision blocks a meaningful business trip and global exchange between a hardworking, passionate coffee farmer and the roaster who buys his coffee.
Our regular customers might know Timoteo Minas as a delightful coffee with notes of citrus and honey. To us, he is so much more: father, host, farmer, teacher, leader, husband, role model, provider, trainer. For the past several years Timo has hosted dozens of employees, customers, and friends of Nossa Familia at his coffee farm. We want to reciprocate his generosity by hosting him at our home in Portland. But our hands are tied, because they won't let Timo enter the United States.
We are resubmitting Timo's visa application, and we need the support of our coffee-loving community to stand behind his visit. Help us let the government know that Timo's visit poses no risk to the U.S., and both he and we will benefit from this meaningful exchange.
Update: March 14, 2017
We received some disappointing news from Guatemala regarding Timoteo's visa. For the second time, Timo had his visa application rejected. Both times, his visa was denied under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes the assumption that applicants have 'immigrant intent' unless they are able to prove otherwise. Despite our petition, our letter of support, a letter from Senator Jeff Merkley, and the many documents proving that Timo has a wife, children, work, land, and business that would compel him to return to Guatemala--it apparently wasn't enough to convince the visa officer who interviewed him. It is immensely frustrating and heart breaking to share this news with you, but this is the reality in which we live, and is just one example of the injustices that are taking place against hard-working, honest individuals who have every right to visit the U.S. We want to extend our gratitude to Senator Jeff Merkley and his staff for their letter of support, along with our friends, customers and the greater coffee community for standing behind us to #LetTimoIn.