Álvaro Garcia applied for a loan with OPA in June 2022. By November, he was a US citizen. Credit: © Eileen Escarda, All Rights Reserved

One Percent for America borrower Álvaro Garcia

Álvaro Garcia
Pembroke Pines, FL
Financing Used For
Citizenship fees

In June 2022, Garcia learned about One Percent for America (OPA) from his wife, who had heard a television news segment about the program. Garcia emigrated from Venezuela 20 years earlier, but he had not been able to apply for citizenship due to the cost of the application. “I made the call to OPA, sent in my information and the next day, I was approved for a loan,” he says. With the low-interest OPA loan, Garcia immediately applied for citizenship; in November 2022 he became a US citizen. Now he can petition for his wife to become a citizen, too.

“When people put their money into OPA, they are helping people achieve the American dream, something those people couldn’t do before, because they lacked the $900 or $1,500 they needed for the paperwork.”

One Percent for America borrower Álvaro Garcia and his wife Jossey near their home in Florida. Credit: © Eileen Escarda, All Rights Reserved

Garcia is already telling his friends about OPA. He notes, “There are thousands of people whom OPA could help.”

The Garcias came to the US after the Venezuelan government nationalized Garcia’s business. Today, he sells solar panels for homes and is an advocate for green energy. Bit by bit, his entire family emigrated. “In the past four years, my sister and my brother moved here. My mother came two years ago. Living in this country, she had to start from scratch — but she is so happy here.”

One Percent for America borrower Álvaro Garcia and his wife Jossey near their home in Florida.

“If you have always been in this country, it is hard to appreciate what it offers. I am most grateful for the mobility. I can get in my car and drive from Miami to Seattle, and no one will stop me, asking to see my papers.” He continues, “That freedom is one of the main reasons we moved to this country — and why people risk crossing the Rio Grande or arriving on rafts. We all want to get to the best country in the world.”

“I see the American flag now, and go, ‘Yes!’ This is a country that opened its arms to me in a unique way, and now I am part of it. I am so grateful that my wife heard about OPA.”

"OPA was a gamechanger for me. It is such a relief to finally be part of this country. I already have my passport."

Álvaro Garcia OPA borrower