Skip to comments.Cuero, TX: One very important detail still missing from family's rags-to-riches success story
Posted on 08/04/2011 1:31:49 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The only chapter missing from Pradipkumar Voras American Dream is the one with the happy ending.
In just four years, Vora has gone from providing room service to pay for his rent at the Wildflower Inn to owning the same Cuero motel.
Vora is now capitalizing on the oil and gas boom by constructing an RV park behind the Wildflower Inn and has plans to build a Taco Bell restaurant nearby on Esplanade.
But despite being one of the most successful buesinessmen in Cuero, Vora, along with his wife, Kokila, are far from content.
Vora was raised in Mumbai, India, where he honed his business skills. He owned a garment manufacturing business with 185 employees working for him.
I was successful and doing wonderful financially, said Vora, who lived with his wife, two daughters, parents and a grandmother. I owned two houses in Mumbai and lived with my family. I had a very busy life, but was very happy with my family.
But on Nov. 20, 1992, Voras life changed forever. He came home from work to find his wife and grandmother bound by masking tape with rags soaked in chloroform stuffed in their mouths.
We found out that all this was done by carpenters who did the furniture in our house, Vora said. Seven boys had come to rob the house for money.
Voras wife and grandmother both died after lapsing into comas from inhaling excessive chloroform.
I was very disheartened and emotionally broke, Vora said. Because of my state of mind, I could not run my business. It took me three years to close my business. I did not want to fire my employees, so I took them to a friend who owned a business and requested him to hire them.
Vora has a copy of the Pledge Of Allegiance taped to one wall in the tiny bedroom he and his second wife, Kokila, share at the Wildflower Inn. The room is adjacent to the front counter of the motel and has a large, flat-screen television mounted on a wall that monitors customers coming and leaving the lobby.
The Wildflower Inn is completely booked most days thanks to the increasing oil and gas activity in DeWitt County.
Cuero is blessed, Vora said.
Vora hops in his golf cart and proudly offers a tour of the property behind the motel where he is constructing an RV park. In one corner of the property, Vora has plans to build a 3,000-square- foot home. His prayer is to have his daughter, Doral, here in Cuero by the time the home is complete.
Despite filing for citizenship since 2001, the Voras have not been able to gain legal status in the country. Doral was forced to attend college in Australia and currently manages a hotel in the United Arab Emirates.
After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the government has made it increasingly difficult for non-residents to obtain visas.
She wants to be with us here, Vora said. She has tried five times to get over here. But each time, they put her name in a computer and they see that her parents in America do not have any status.
Doral calls her parents at least twice a day.
I understand they have a shortage of people and they have to check backgrounds, Vora said. But how long does it take?
I have to stop crying and I have to tell (Kokila) to please stop crying. Because when she cries, I cant sleep.
Coming to America
After the death of his wife and grandmother, Vora spiraled into depression.
My parents could not see me like this and they suggested that I get married again, Vora said.
Vora married Kokila on Feb. 5, 1995. Voras father died a few months later. In November of 1996, Vora and Kokila had a son, Viren.
I was a very happy father, Vora said. But by now, our financial situation had become very bad. I did not have enough money to buy basic necessities for my kids. I did not have enough money to buy diapers for my son. I was broke.
Thats when Vora decided he needed to leave India and begin a new life in America. He had been to the U.S. several times before on business trips.
In 1997, I came to America and at the airport I saw in a newspaper a job advertisement for a maintenance man, Vora said.
Vora received a six-month visit visa and worked for over five months as the maintenance man at a hotel in Wilson, N.C.
I would send money home to India, Vora said. The owner of the hotel would pay me $800 a month, but I needed more money, so I would work 16 hours a day and he agreed to give me $1,600 a month.
Two weeks before his visa expired, Vora returned to India to get Kokila and Viren and bring them with him to the U.S.
I could not get visas for my daughters because their passports were up for renewal, Vora said. When they got their passports, we thought we could bring them here.
Over the next two years, Vora and his wife worked as housekeepers at a Holiday Inn in Kingston, N.C., returning to India every six months after their visas expired and returning with new visas to continue their jobs.
In October of 1999, Vora returned to the U.S. alone, seeking more for his family.
I told my wife to let me organize something and then I would call her, Vora said.
Vora noticed a for sale ad for a motel in Las Cruces, N.M., with a zero-down lease option to buy.
I went there and spoke to the owner and through an attorney we made an agreement, Vora said. The very next day, I called my wife to come to the USA as early as possible.
But Voras immigration problems began on Jan. 1, 2000, when he picked up Kokila and Viren from the airport.
An immigration officer called me and asked for my passport, Vora said. He asked me why I was going back and forth to India twice a year. I told him I was trying to establish a living in America. Immediately, he cancelled my visa and my wifes visa.
Vora said he was wronged by the owners of the Las Cruces motel and was advised by an immigration attorney to find an employer who would work with him to gain work authorization and U.S. citizenship.
Vora worked for two motel companies in Houston until February 2007, when the Days Inn he was managing filed for bankruptcy.
They told me to leave, so I had to leave, Vora said. By now, I was tired of the employers and everyones false promises. I decided to have my own business and told my wife no more crying.
While at a Buddhist temple in Houston, Vora overheard someone talking about a hotel for sale in Cuero.
I was told the owners would not talk to an Indian, Vora said. I told my wife we would go there and talk to them face to face.
The Voras were able to convince the owners of the Wildflower Inn to let them work for their rent, cleaning up rooms.
We worked 10 to 15 hours a day, Vora said.
During his time in the U.S., Vora had built up a line of credit. After building the their trust, the owners agreed to sell the motel to Vora for $575,000 with a down payment of $75,000.
God is there and he heard my voice, Vora said. I had several credit cards and I called American Express and they put my entire credit limit on one card. They put $80,000 on one card.
Vora made the down payment in May 2007. He said he has paid off the $80,000 credit and 70 percent of the balance of the hotel.
The waiting game
Now the Voras have concentrated their efforts on gaining U.S. citizenship and getting Doral to Cuero.
Money is not the only solution for peace of mind and I do not feel comfortable without my green card and my daughter, Vora said. I need her with me. She was 12 years old when I last hugged her. Now she is 25 years old and I have still not met her.
Vora said he is frustrated by the red tape he has had to go through to gain citizenship.
In 2003, I get a letter from the Labor Department that says my papers are in Dallas, Vora said. In 2005, they sent me a letter saying my file was in a Dallas backlog center. Then in 2007, they sent me a letter saying my file moved from Dallas to the Chicago back log center. Now Im waiting to get a letter that says they are moving my file from America to the moon.
Vora said he is also frustrated with immigration laws that are being made ineffective against illegal immigrants, while he has been unable to gain citizenship legally for over a decade.
That is not right, Vora said of illegal immigration. That is lying. My mother told me to never lie. I know what is better in the long term. You dont lie. If you do, it will come back to you. If you dont lie, God helps you.
Despite the hardships he has faced gaining citizenship, Vora said the United States is still the land of opportunity.
In America, even a dumb man, if he will work hard and honestly, can become a millionaire in five years, Vora said. If a smart man will work hard and use his mind very well, he can make $10 million.
I could sell my property here, move back to India and live like a king, Vora said. But we dont want to go back. This is our home.
A family with a story to tell ends up in Cuero, Texas because there are jobs and opportunity for people who are not afraid of hard work and ready to face the challenges to make it in America.
And more power to ‘em!
The red tape is there because he is a hard working man and the government only wants give me something for free people.
He and his wife are the absolute enemies of the leftscum who infest our government: hard working successful non-white people who are not beholden to government.
He should be a citizen by now, but I expect some leftist bureaucrat will have him deported as soon as possible...
Congratulations to this determined man. He is not alone in his story. We have friends at our church from India, and their story is similar (without the murder and chloraform part).
He is retired from being manager of a large tea plantation in India, and he works 2 jobs here. I don’t think they have a car, because I see him using the County taxi service and also walking to one of his jobs. His wife also has 2 jobs.
They have been here many years and have been unable to get their daughter here. She had to go to college in Australia too. His daughter just was let in the country, and it has taken about 10 years. She’s working at the same grocery store as her parents are, despite her college degree.
This man and his family should be highlighted on John Stossel's show, "Stossel's Take. Maybe a few of us should suggest it.
My next door neighbor (No. Texas) has a similar story. He came to the US with nothing, worked in a rundown motel, bought it and fixed it up. He sold it for a good profit and now 20 years later he has 3 La Quinta Inns, building another and hasn’t looked back. His daughter graduated high school in May with honors and is starting college at UT with plans to be a doctor. Couldn’t ask for better neighbors.
These stories make me happy about humanity and the human spirit but sad when I look at what too many American’s have become under Democrat Party politics.
The author of the story should have made all of that clear if he or she is going to make the story about Mr. Vora’s inability to get citizenship.
It’s the melting pot, as it should be, not the division — the dependents that the Democrat Party identifies, nurtures — crippling potential with poverty pimping welfare and race-baiting, class warfare indoctrination.
I heard on Rush today that the Left is spreading the word in higher education that during the deficit negotiations, the GOP cut $2T from Pell grants — lies, lies and more damn lies.
Thanks for the alert and for the amazing story of hard work and success! This family deserved it. Also interesting to read about the way they’ve hindered his road to citizenship!
I hope Vora and his family continue to prosper.
Cuero is another Texas success story going on right now.
The number of rigs aiming for oil in the U.S. is the highest since at least 1987, according to Baker Hughes Inc. The 818 rigs tallied by the oilfield-service company last week are nearly double last year’s count and about 10 times the number that were drilling for oil in the late 1990s.
Thanks for your good research Cincinatus’ Wife!
I’m glad I checked out the oil boom and what was going on in Cuero, Texas.
Vora’s story was inspiring and lifted my spirits.
And all those jobs!!
Then there is Barack Obama holding his 2011 re-election campaign begging cup out to LIBERALS, as he travels around the U.S. on Air Force One on our borrowed money.
These two pictures couldn’t be more strikingly different or more instructive.
It should be a chapter read in junior high school.
I’m glad you took the time to research the Cuero story too. I am south of Cuero but had heard rumors of it. All of this area had a booming oil business in the 80’s. Amazing to think how the little town of Cuero may grow from this.
Lol, Obama was here begging money for the 2010 election when Perry met him at the plane in Austin. Obama may look out the window before he de-planes the next time!!
It looks like a nice town.
Hope it prospers and families grow up in an America like I did.
Thanks for the help.
They found it necessary to find food, shelter and a job within a few hours of arriving.
Remember the days when almost all the 7/11 employees were from India? That's them!
I know a few of those guys. They feel like they did it all on their own.
Cuero’s an ‘antique’ little town, they have been badly flooded out in hurricanes before.
I’m on and off a lot but hope to be a help. I want to make up some graphics and slideshows, have been searching for just the right pictures.
We HAVE to beat Obama, just have too!!