JFON Network Update
JFON Leadership Summit: April 15 - 16, 2011, Nashville, TN
The 2011 JFON Leadership Summit focused on supporting and strengthening local leadership at the board and clinic levels. The primary goals of the meeting were to: enable networking and sharing, engage in broad discussion of the JFON model and policies, and offer training and skills-development opportunities.
Nearly 70 people attended the Summit, including representatives from the 14 JFON regions as well as from four annual conferences interested in starting JFON – Kentucky, Illinois Great River, New England, and Eastern Pennsylvania.
Welcome Northern Illinois JFON
The first clinic in the newest JFON region—Northern Illinois JFON—opened at Fourth Street United Methodist Church, Aurora, IL. This clinic is organized and staffed by volunteers from eight area UMCs. Read more.
Congratulations to Brynne Howard for Passing the Iowa Bar
Introduced in last month’s First Monday, Brynne recently learned she passed the Iowa Bar examination and has been sworn in. She has assumed her full responsibility as Church & Community Worker/JFON Attorney in Iowa.
GBCS Urges Methodists to Support Dreamer Threatened With Deportation
Cristian Ramirez, like many 21-year-olds, works full time while attending college. He also volunteers in his spare time at Christ Foundry United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. Unlike most young people his age, he is living with the fear that at any moment he could be deported to the violent country his family fled when he was 12.
Cristian’s troubles began when the police stopped him while he was on the way to renew an expired registration sticker. He was arrested, turned over to immigration officials, and ordered deported. Christ Foundry UMC, the General Board of Church & Society, and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition urge United Methodists to write President Obama and Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, asking them to defer Cristian’s deportation order. Read more or click here for a sample letter of support.
How Much Do Unauthorized Immigrants Contribute To Your State?
A recent report by the Immigration Policy Center backs up what economists have said for years: undocumented immigrants do pay taxes. Tax data shows that unauthorized immigrant households paid a whopping $11.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2010, including $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. The states receiving the most tax revenue from households headed by unauthorized immigrants were California ($2.7 billion), Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($806.8 million), New York ($662.4 million), and Illinois ($499.2 million) Read More.
An Analysis of Immigration Policy in the Second Year of the Obama Administration
According to a report by the Immigration Policy Center, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is responsible for the nation’s three immigration agencies, continues to struggle with competing missions to provide immigration benefits and to enforce immigration laws. Over the past year, while waiting for Congress to act, the Obama administration increased the emphasis on enforcement and deportation over administrative relief. This report finds that, while DHS has made significant progress in some areas, there is much room for improvement. Read More.
New Blog: Migrant Christ
Launched in March 2011, the Migrant Christ blog is a conversation about the biblical, theological and missiological roots of our call to respond faithfully to the issue of immigration. To read or subscribe to the blog, click here.
The blog is edited by Rev. Yvette Schock, National Grassroots Coordinator for Immigration Reform, Church World Service;, Rev. Bill Mefford, Director of Civil and Human Rights, General Board of Church and Society; and Michelle Thorne, seminarian and Grassroots Coordinator for Immigration, General Board of Church and Society.
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2010 | 2011
Bibi Ramnauth* struggled to support herself and her two young children in their native Guyana. As their economic situation turned desperate, Bibi made the heart-wrenching decision to leave her children in the care of relatives while she looked for a job in the United States. In 2000, Bibi joined her aunt in New York, quickly found work, and began to send money home to provide for her children: Prashanta*, 6, and Rahdika*, 3.
In 2005, Bibi fell in love with and married Victor*, a US citizen. Victor immediately filed I-130 applications for Bibi and the two children. The I-130 would establish their relationship and enable him to apply for immigrant visas on their behalf. The three I-130s were approved. However, since Bibi lacked proof of inspection and admission to the US, she was ineligible to apply for permanent residency under current immigration law. Based on Bibi’s ineligibility, the US Embassy in Guyana refused to grant immigrant visas to the children and terminated their petitions.
In 2010, having been separated from her children for 10 years, Bibi and Victor sought assistance from JFON NY. Research and consultation with the US State Department’s legal office, demonstrated that the petitions for Prashanta and Rahdika were wrongfully terminated. After the State Department ordered the Embassy to consider new visa applications for the children, the JFON attorney helped Bibi and Victor file new petitions and compile the necessary proof of their valid marriage. On March 3, 2011, the US Embassy in Guyana granted Immigrant Visas to Prashanta and Rahdika, now 16 and 13, respectively. Although overjoyed to finally be reunited with her children, Bibi remains ineligible to apply for residency until the law is changed.
*Not their real names