QUEENS, N.Y. – U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens/Bronx) announced March 14 that they helped secure a visa for the son of GuiYing Ma, a Queens resident who died last month after she was attacked in November while sweeping the sidewalk next to her home.

Reps. Grace Meng and Alexandria Ocasio-Corez

The two lawmakers helped obtain the visa for Yang Gao so that he can come to the U.S. from China to attend his mother’s funeral later this month. The exact date is still to be confirmed.

Ma, 62, died on Feb. 22. She was struck in the head with a rock on Nov. 26 while she was sweeping and had been at Elmhurst Hospital since the assault took place. She died just weeks after waking up from a coma. The suspect was arrested and indicted for the crime.

Meng joined Ma’s husband, Zhanxin Gao, and the family’s pro bono attorneys on March 1 to announce her death, and also called for continued efforts to combat the rise in anti-Asian hate and violence.

“We continue to be devastated over the passing of GuiYing Ma and our thoughts remain with her loved ones as they mourn her loss,” said Meng. “We thank the U.S. State Department for working with us and facilitating her son’s visa so that he can be with his father at this difficult time, and provide the emotional and physical support that is needed. Unfortunately, there are no words that can ease the pain they are experiencing. But we will continue to be here for them, and assist with any other needs that may arise.”

The son’s visa application, which was for a non-immigrant visa, was approved after Meng and Ocasio-Cortez recently intervened with the State Department.

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