HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An Alabama man who made national headlines when he mowed lawns for veterans in 50 states says he may be “forced to leave the country” after his application for a green card was apparently denied.
Rodney Smith Jr., the founder of Raising Men Lawn Care Service, announced on Facebook that his application for a green card was denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In the post, Smith asks the public to send letters to the USCIS in favor of the Raising Men Lawn Care foundation.
Smith, who was born in Bermuda, says he has called the United States home for 15 years and has a passion for helping Americans during his time in the states.
“I see it as my life’s work and my life’s purpose. I would love the opportunity to continue on … but right now … it’s not at a standstill but a roadblock. I believe and I hope I can find a way around that roadblock to continue all the work,” Smith told WHNT.
In a Facebook post, Smith wrote:
“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.”
He says he doesn’t agree with the assessment from the USCIS.
Smith said his foundation provides free lawn services to the elderly, disabled, single parents, and veterans.
“Needless-to-say, I do not agree with its assessment of my foundation or me,” Smith wrote. “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.”
Smith has launched a letter-writing campaign in hopes of supporting his case to stay in the states. He is requesting that people who have been positively impacted by the Raising Men Lawn Care foundation write letters to the USCIS.