Providing hospitality to low-income immigrants with legal services, advocacy, & education November 1, 2018
The New England JFON Board recommends this Newsletter from the
National Justice for Our Neighbors
News & Updates from the JFON Network November 2018
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
From Boston to Washington State, from Florida to Hawaii; from legal offices to courtrooms, from church clinics to immigration detention facilities; our JFON network is united to better serve our besieged immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking neighbors.
We hope you will watch (and share) this short video with your family, friends, and neighbors who ask "So, what does this JFON network actually do?"
And please consider including NJFON in your plans for
#GivingTuesday! We fight for Justice. Join us!
For the love of Fathers & Sons JFON attorneys volunteer at the border
Just Neighbors, our JFON affiliate in Northern Virginia, sent their director of legal services, Dominique Poirier, and site attorney, Cristina Sproul, to Southeast Texas last month to provide legal counsel for detainees at the Karnes Detention Facility.
"Karnes is presently used to house male family members," reports Dominique. "There are no single males in the facility and all detainees are fathers who have sons. The youngest boy we worked with was 2 years old, and then on up through teenagers."
Their days were long and intense as they assisted with intakes for very recent arrivals, prepared detainees for their credible fear interviews, and advised them on what to do if they did not pass that all-important milestone. It was this latter group that worries Dominique the most.
"Everyone we talked to had fled some sort of violence and persecution and just wanted to live and work peacefully and honestly in the U.S," she reflects. "It was sad to realize that our asylum laws are not interpreted by judges to cover these types of cases, and that many of these fathers and sons will eventually be deported back to certain violence and perhaps even death."
Both Cristina and Dominique agree that working with the father and son detainees was an amazing experience and one they would like to share with all JFON attorneys.
"We felt we were able to truly assist the detainees during their detention at Karnes," says Dominique (pictured right), "and would love to go back!"
Seeking the truth about the people of the Migrant Caravan, a UMC pastor joins them as they travel north.
“It’s a long road,” says Gavin Rogers, an associate pastor at San Antonio’s Travis Park United Methodist Church. “But life is good when you are with people filled with love and hospitality.”
Travis Park UMC is justly famous for its focus on social justice ministries—they were our hosts for our annual JFON Roundtable Conference this past September, so we can attest to their—and Gavin's—deep commitment to the biblical mandate to “welcome the stranger.”
Gavin, fed up with the politics and the hype and the fear, flew to Mexico to join the caravan last week. He’s been sharing his remarkable experiences on social media, and has already been the subject of several news reports.
“Some people hear asylum-seekers say they’re seeking a better life and they immediately think ‘oh, no, they’re coming to steal our jobs,’” says Gavin. “But for refugees, a better life just means life. They’re not out to steal anything. They just want to live.”
Gavin and a young Honduran share a ride on a flatbed truck. Gavin's posts are filled with stories of kindness and generosity exhibited by the Mexican people, police officers and government officials.
The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church issue a Joint Statement in Response to the Central American Migrant Caravans
"...Above all, we call upon our congregations to be agents of God’s mercy toward the migrant. We are inspired by Methodist congregations and other communities of faith and compassion who throughout the journey of these migrants have taken some into their homes, fed them in their congregations, and blessed them on their way.
"As Christians we are called to receive those who migrate as if receiving Jesus Christ himself. Treat them as if they were our own families, help them as if we were the ones migrating, and extend love to the migrants for we know ourselves to also be a migrant people on the journey of faith."
We rely on the financial commitments of congregations, organizations, and individuals. We appreciate and welcome your support of this ministry. To make a financial contribution, go to the New England Justice for Our Neighbors -- Donation page on our website. You may also send contributions to: New England Justice for Our Neighbors, Belmont-Watertown UMC c/o Jocelyn Milton, 421 Common St, Belmont, MA 02478. Thank you for your ongoing support.