JFON Network Update
JFON SE Michigan Opens Clinic in Ypsilanti
The 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 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.
No Child of God is
The 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.
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.
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2010 | 2011
Born into a large family in El Salvador, Alex* dropped out of school to help support his family. He came to the United States in 1999 to seek better job opportunities so he could better help them. He soon obtained a work permit under the Temporary Protected Status program.
A few years later, Alex fell in love with and married Doris*, and they eventually had two children. Alex learned that Doris was addicted to drugs and alcohol when she began using his earnings to support her habit.
He encouraged her to seek help, but she responded to him with verbal and psychological abuse, a situation that went on for years. Alex turned to alcohol to escape what was going on and ultimately was convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Alex came annually to JFON for help renewing his TPS status and work permit. However, after his second DWI, he lost eligibility. Alex continued to return each year to see if there was something that could be done. During his most recent visit, the JFON attorney asked him how his wife and family were doing. Alex immediately broke down and revealed the abuse he had been suffering and his concern for his children.
In late 2010, JFON helped Alex submit a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition (I-360) based on that abuse. Contrary to the name, male survivors of domestic violence are eligible for protection under VAWA.
Determined to change for the sake of his children, Alex began attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and returned to church. His AA counselor wrote a strong letter of support for Alex explaining how the abuse at home was directly related to his drinking.
Alex’s I-360 was approved in May. He continues to attend AA meetings. He is now separated from his wife and is working out custody of their children.
*not their real names