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Providing hospitality to low-income immigrants with legal services, advocacy, & education
October 2019
Stories & News from the JFON Network 
October 2019

Stronger Together 

Although NJFON does occasionally send teams of attorneys to the U.S. - Mexico border, most of our work with asylum seekers happens right here in the United States. There are hundreds of asylum-seeking families living in our cities, towns, and communities who need our help. 

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has just announced a three-year, $1.8 million pilot project to support asylum seekers in the U.S., specifically in New York, Houston, and Miami.

Our JFON affiliates in New YorkHouston, and Florida will be providing the immigration legal services these families so desperately need. 

Church World Service, meanwhile, will help the asylum seekers with their day-to-day practical needs—housing, registering children for school, enrolling in language classes, and accessing various social service and community programs. 

"This grant will ensure that for some of the most vulnerable asylum seekers fleeing to the U.S. there is still hope for safety here," says NJFON Executive Director Rob Rutland-Brown. "The partnership between National Justice for Our Neighbors, Church World Service, and UMCOR provides a creative solution for ensuring that migrants receive critical legal representation for their asylum case as well as a wide range of support services.
"Together we are sending a message," he adds, "that migrants deserve access to justice, and just as importantly, that they are welcomed and loved.”

Read more HERE.

¡Saludos desde Tucson!

Staff, board members and volunteers from 17 existing and four prospective JFON sites met in Tucson, Arizona, earlier this month for our annual JFON Roundtable to share and learn new ways to better serve our immigrant neighbors.  

Many of our attendees also participated in several border immersion experiences, including helping at the water stations maintained by Humane Borders in the Sonoran Desert, witnessing "Operation Streamline" at the U.S. District Court of Arizona, and visiting with groups that serve migrants and deportees in Mexico. 

Jonathan Sanchez, board member for Florida JFON, spent some time talking to asylum seekers waiting at the soup kitchen in Nogales, Mexico, operated by the Jesuit brothers of the Kino Border Initiative. Please see Jonathan's story below. 

Two Fathers / Dos Padres
The cartels were fighting each other for territory, Luis explains, and his family was stuck dead-center in the middle of it.

“One night, they came and knocked on the door,” he says. “With their guns.  ‘You have to leave now,’ they told us. Nothing more than that, just …‘you have to leave now.’”

Luis glances at his children playing a few feet away—a boy about 4 years old and his sister, a year or two older. “What could I do?”  he demands of no one in particular, and lowers his head. “We left. We left behind everything we couldn’t carry on our backs.”

That was 15 months ago. That’s how long it took the family to travel here from their home, some 2,000 miles away.

The other man nods with a rough sympathy. He is also a father, but older than Luis, with deep grooves of worry etched into his mahogany-hued face.
           Antonio has two pretty daughters, ages 12 and 14. 
He left his home because of them.

Nobody has to ask why.

Photo courtesy of Kino Border Initiative.
Read the full story HERE. 

The Quality of Merced 

Twenty years ago, Iowa JFON began serving their vulnerable immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking neighbors. 

Merced, pictured here with her family, has been with them through nearly all of it, both as a client and as a volunteer.  
Read Merced's Story HERE

Victory for Immigrant Families!

The new public charge regulations are put on hold in the nick of time...but for how long? 
A federal court has blocked the administration's new and draconian public charge regulations from taking effect for the foreseeable future—while the case is being decided. 

The order was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in State of New York v. Department of Homeland Security and Make the Road New York v. Cuccinelli. The judge stated that the plaintiffs made strong Administrative Procedure Act and Constitutional arguments, that the regulation may violate the Rehabilitation Act, and that irreparable harm would be suffered immediately if the rule were to go into effect.
This is a victory for immigrant families. The legal fight will continue, but, for now, the rules applying to the public charge determination within the United States have not changed. 
To understand more about these new regulations, please read 
National JFON decries new "Public Charge" Regulation. 

Pictured left: "What happened to the one we use to have?"
by the renowned political cartoonist 
Herblock, originally published way back in 1946.

The more things change,
the more they stay the same.

Copyright © National Justice for Our Neighbors 
All rights reserved. 

Our mailing address is:
National Justice for Our Neighbors 
7630 Little River Turnpike, Suite 900
Annandale, Virginia, 22003

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 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.
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