UMCOR / Our Work / Immigration and Refugees / Justice for Our Neighbors / First Monday / Archives 2011

First Monday

June 2011

JFON Network Update

JFON SE Michigan Opens Clinic in Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti OpeningThe JFON Southeast Michigan (JFON-SEMI) opened their third clinic at First United Methodist Church in Ypsilanti in May. More than 30 church and community members attended the JFON volunteer training, and the clinic was inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration. Read more about JFON-SEMI


 JFON-Nebraska Executive Director Featured In Omaha World-Herald

Emiliano Lerda, JFON-NE executive director since December 2010, was featured in an Omaha World-Herald article, in which he said he aimed to put a face on the immigration issue. Read More.

JFON Central Florida Hires Attorney

Lina Margarita Restrepo joins JFON Florida (JFON-FL) after two years at Catholic Charities of Central Florida. Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Lina arrived in the US in 1991. She graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University School of Law in 2008.

Welcome Two GBGM Mission Interns

GBGM’s Mission Intern Program is a three-year leadership development and social justice opportunity for young adults (20-30 years old). This year JFON-FL and JFON-SEMI were among the programs chosen for mission intern placement.

Hannah HansonHannah Hanson is assigned to JFON-FL. During the first half of her Mission Intern service, she facilitated Poverty Alleviation classes and worked at an HIV voluntary counseling and testing center outside Johannesburg. Her work at JFON will focus on education and advocacy as well as assisting the attorney in providing services to clients.

Joseph Bradley is assigned to JFON-SEMI. During the first half of his Mission Intern placement, he worked with orphans and street children in Cambodia and taught English at a private Methodist school in Phnom Penh. Joseph will serve as JFON-SEMI’s Volunteer and Communications coordinator.

Advocacy Update

No Child of God is Illegal

Drop the I WordThe General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is urging United Methodists to join the national Drop the I-Word Campaign to eliminate the use of the word "illegal" as part of the conversation on immigration reform. The campaign aims to help communities understand and respond to the damaging and racist impact the term "illegal" has on our communities. GCORR's goal is to have 10,000 United Methodists take the pledge by Dec. 6, 2011. Have you taken the Pledge? Read more and visit the campaign site to find resources.

Cities Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

In the wake of President Obama's speech discussing immigration reform, the National League of Cities reiterated its call for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. Read more or click here to listen to President Obama’s speech.

Secure Communities Program to be Investigated

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General plans to investigate Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program meant to target "serious convicted felons" for deportation. The program has instead ensnared many undocumented immigrants who were arrested but not subsequently convicted or who committed minor offenses.

Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency launched the program in 2008, with plans for mandatory nationwide participation by 2013. Opponents contend that by including minor offenders or those never convicted of crimes, the program dissuades undocumented immigrants from cooperating with law enforcement. Read More.

Mandatory E-Verify would harm the economy

According to a National Immigration Forum conference call, E-Verify, an online system designed to determine whether someone is authorized to work, may soon become mandatory. Without immigration reform, this could have disastrous effects.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that E-Verify alone, without a legalization program, would result in more than $17 billion in lost tax revenue over 10 years.

Database errors in E-Verify would cause between 3 million and 4 million American workers to have to correct their records or lose their jobs, while about 770, 000 people will likely mistakenly lose their jobs.

Read more or click here to listen to the call.

DREAM Act Reintroduced in House and Senate

On May 11, 2011 Senators Durbin (D-IL), Reid (D-NV), and Menendez (D-NJ), along with 30 of their colleagues introduced the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act (S. 952) in the U.S. Senate.

The DREAM Act offers talented young people an opportunity to fully contribute to the country they call home and earn their way to U.S. citizenship. To find out if your senator was among the 33 co-sponsors, click here. To read the senators’ statements regarding the reintroduction of DREAM, click here. To read Senator Durbin’s speech on the Senate floor, click here. Read the bill here.