Now, this is just plain stupid and dumb, and I hope this will end well. Huntsville native Rodney Smith Jr. shared on his social media that he was denied a green card. I was surprised to find out that Rodney was not an American citizen. But, he wants to become one! Rodney is the founder Raising Men Lawn Care Service, and he has inspired thousands of kids around the country to mow lawns for those who need it. And of course, Rodney still helps to mow lawns for those who are disabled, veterans, etc.
Rodney has lived in the United States for the last 15 years, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently denied a green card for him. If he is unsuccessful in attempting to stay in the USA, Rodney would have to leave and return to Bermuda, and that would pretty much derail his Raising Men Lawn Care Service mission.
Rodney Smith Jr. reached out on social media to talk about his situation. You can read what he wrote below, and he wants people to write letters to the USCIS. You can mail your letters to P.O. Box 2182 Madison, Alabama 35758.
Family, I need your help. Please read. pic.twitter.com/GAh6BKs3Is
— Rodney Smith Jr (@iamrodneysmith) October 27, 2020
Family, I need your help, please read:
As some of you may or may not know, I was born in Bermuda, but I have called the United States home for the past 15 years. Serving the people of the United States is my passion, and it is here where I want to spend the rest of life, fulfilling the mission of my foundation, Raising Men Lawn Care Service (as well as Raising Women Lawn Care Service), by providing free lawn services to the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans. However, my stay here is in jeopardy. I may be forced to leave the country. I have followed all the appropriate and legal protocols, but things have not gone my way. My application for a green card was recently denied by the USCIS. I will continue to fight to earn permanent residency, and ultimately my citizenship, but my options are limited.
While I was born and raised in Bermuda, in my heart, I am an American. I love this country. I completed my high school education here. I earned my bachelor’s degree in computer science and master’s degree in social work at Alabama A&M University. More importantly, here is where I discovered my passion for helping others. From the first lawn I mowed for a struggling elderly man until today, my goal has been to help as many people as possible. A simple lawnmower changed my life and created countless opportunities for me to assist people.
I have toured this amazing country nine times, visiting every state to mow lawns while raising awareness about several important issues and causes. Last year, we raised over $17,000 to help 14 families via our program, Raising Hope, and auctioned seven custom mowers to help other charities. Our 50-yard Challenge now has 1,300-plus kids involved across all 50 states. We also have kids in Canada, Bermuda, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Australia.
Over 80 kids have completed the Challenge and received brand new lawn equipment, personally delivered by me. I have visited many Pre-K classes around the nation, introducing young children to lawn mowing via a bubble mower. I’ve shared our story on several news networks and even appeared on a few TV shows, including the Kelly Clarkson show. Our story has been shared in countless magazines, and we received a letter from the president thanking us for our community service work. I have even been asked to be the keynote speaker at several conferences. Additionally, I have completed three Christmas tours, handing out gifts to the homeless in all 50 states. I also designed the official “police lawnmower” – painted to look like a police car. These lawnmowers are donated to police departments nationwide with the hope that police officers will offer free lawn services as a way of building positive relationships between themselves and the communities they serve.
I am sharing this not to boast, but because I have only just begun. I have so much more I want to accomplish. The RMLCS family has created a movement. Not only are we helping people, but we are teaching children how they can make a difference in their communities. I made a promise to each kid who finished the Challenge that I would deliver new lawn equipment. I want to see that promise through. I continue to believe that what we do makes a difference. Our mission is far from complete.
I want to continue this work as a legal citizen of the greatest country in the world, and I want to continue to encourage kids. To accomplish this, I need your help.
First: If anyone knows of an immigration lawyer who can assist me, please let me know. The immigration process can be complicated and stressful. I need someone to advise me on which avenue will increase my chance of getting a positive outcome.
Second: My first application for a green card was recently denied. I applied for the EB-1 visa, which is for foreign nationals who demonstrate extraordinary abilities in their field. The denial letter stated that I have “not provided documentary evidence that my work is an original contribution of major significance to the field” (my field being social work). It also stated that the USCIS “does not find the beneficiary to be an individual of extraordinary ability.” Needless-to-say, I do not agree with its assessment of my foundation or me. I believe what the foundation does is unique. It helps people who cannot mow their lawns due to physical or financial limitations. To-date, the foundation has mowed 2,500-plus lawns. This does not include the 4,000 lawns mowed by kids who completed the Challenge. When the 1,300 kids who are currently taking on the Challenge complete it, they will have mowed 65,000 lawns at no charge for people in their communities.
I need to start a letter-writing campaign. I need people who have been positively impacted by my foundation or people who are aware of the work of the foundation to write letters of support, stating the exceptional services the foundation provides to communities around the Unites States. The letters will be compiled and mailed to USCIS, as I appeal its decision. Please send your letters to P.O. Box 2182 Madison, Alabama 35758. Thank you for your help.
Yours in service,
– Rodney Smith, Jr., a.k.a, “The Lawn Mower Man”