Report from the National JFON Roundtable
Last week, three members of New England Justice for Our Neighbors attended the annual National JFON Roundtable. Executive Director Jenna Andelman, incoming Board Chair Margaret Bradshaw, and Attorney Molly Curley joined associates of the other 18 NJFON affiliates in Baltimore for the event. Attendees shared experiences, challenges, and solutions; food and music; and fellowship.
Miles for Migrants Update
Conference topics ran the gamut from how to be an anti-racist organization to thorny immigration legal cases to the role of a Board of Directors. Off-hours, we were even treated to salsa lessons. It was truly a full-service event.
New England JFON is very fortunate to be a part of this amazing network. We are in regular communication with the other sites throughout the year and receive guidance and many types of support, including financial, from National JFON. We're already looking forward to next year's Roundtable!
Our Miles for Migrants fundraiser is off to a great start! Many generous donors have already sponsored Gary's race and started following his blog.
As recently announced, Gary is dedicating a 100-mile ultra-race to New England Justice for Our Neighbors and our brave clients. On October 15th and 16th, he will run the 100-mile Ghost Train ultra-race in New Hampshire for a second time. In this race, competitors must complete 100 miles in 30 hours or less!
You can sponsor Gary's race here by selecting an amount for each mile that he runs, and then follow his preparation and progress on the Miles for Migrants blog, https://milesformigrants.blogspot.com.
We also invite and encourage all of our friends to share the news of this fundraiser widely in order to maximize the impact of each of those 100 miles!
Thank you for your support, and stay tuned!
Migrants in Martha's Vineyard
By now all of our readers will have heard of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' actions last week. DeSantis paid for a flight of Venezuelan migrants to be transferred from Texas to Martha's Vineyard and for operators on the ground in Texas to fill that flight. As more information comes to light, it seems that the migrants were convinced to board the flight under false pretenses. They were told they would arrive in Boston and were given false "Massachusetts" brochures promising housing, jobs, food and clothing. In addition, the migrants arrived with no advance notice given to anyone in Massachusetts, making their situation even more precarious. Even worse, many of them have court appearances throughout the country and now need to be flown to those locations or miss their chances for asylum.
You have likely also heard how residents of Martha's Vineyard, aid agencies, local and state government, and organization similar to New England JFON and our partners banded together to provide these immigrants with food, shelter, legal services, and everything else they need as they wait to determine where they stand and what their next steps may be.
Charges have already been brought against DeSantis and his accomplices, but this story - like similar cases across the US - underscores the vulnerability of those crossing the border and the many ways in which they can be taken advantage of, not understanding the language or the legal system and not knowing whom to trust. It is truly a blessing when our clients can find their way to trusted, competent sources of information, aid, and legal services. We know you join us in hoping for a happy resolution for each of these brave immigrants.
National Justice for Our Neighbors is changing its name! The Immigration Law & Justice (ILJ) Network will continue doing the same great work, though. The Network currently consists of 19 organizations across the United States, including New England Justice for Our Neighbors, all providing legal services to low- and no-income immigrants and advocating for their rights.
Did You Know?
In case you missed it, check out our 2021 Impact Report. Read all about last year's successes and our future plans here.
Still live! Our "10 for 10" campaign for monthly donors - with a one-for-one match! Click here to participate.