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

First Monday

October 2011

JFON Network Update

JFON Model Change Update: National JFON Board

Over the summer, a board-nominating committee was hard at work prospecting and reviewing possible nominees to National JFON’s first board of directors. After numerous conference calls, the committee selected nine people to sit on this board. These names will be brought to UMCOR’s board of directors at their semi-annual meeting in October for approval and official appointment. If approved, the new National JFON board will begin its work immediately. 

JFON Northern Illinois Hires Attorney

Jenny AnsayFounded in April 2011, JFON-N.IL has hired Jenny Ansay as their regional attorney. Jenny comes to JFON with significant experience in immigration law. She worked with the DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic as a student advocate, U visa project supervisor, and temporary staff attorney. During law school, she also volunteered with ProBAR, an organization located on the U.S.-Mexico border that provides free legal services to immigrants in detention in Southern Texas. Jenny received her Juris Doctor from the DePaul University College of Law in 2010 with a certificate in public interest law.

The daughter of immigrants from Poland, Jenny has firsthand knowledge of the struggles immigrant families face as they seek paths to lawful status. She is eager to welcome many more immigrants into our churches and communities in Northern Illinois, saying, "I am extremely pleased and blessed to be able to help clients navigate the often complicated and confusing immigration process."

Please Join the Clinic Coordinators’ Conference Call on October 27

The recent quarterly Clinic Coordinators’ conference call in July stimulated productive conversation on advocacy. The JFON national staff hopes that all clinic coordinators will join the next call on Friday, Oct. 27 at 6 pm EDT. 


Advocacy Update

Don't miss out on DREAM Sabbath! – September 16 to October 9

Dream SabbathSo far, more than 100 United Methodist churches, United Methodist Women circles, Sunday School classes, and Wesley Foundations have signed up to participate in the DREAM Sabbath campaign! GBCS’ goal is to have 200 United Methodist- related entities participate.

Don't miss out: It's not too late to sign up !

Visit the Interfaith Immigration website to learn more about DREAM Sabbath and download the event toolkit, which includes DREAMers’ stories, sermon starters, faith reflections on DREAM, and other resources to help you plan your DREAM Sabbath.

New Documentary – Gospel without Borders

Gospel without BordersGospel without Borders brings more light and less heat to the issue of immigration. It separates myth from fact, examines what the Bible says about treating the "stranger," shows the experiences of documented and undocumented immigrants, and provides handles for Christians to advance the common good.

The documentary highlights stories in five states: Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, and Iowa. Some stories break the heart; others inspire the spirit. Still others challenge the mind. But all come together and show that the Christian gospel is indeed without borders. Click here to learn more or view the dates and locations of upcoming screenings. Purchase the video here.

Immigration Raid Outside Detroit Church Sparks Outrage

On July 25, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents staged a raid on the grounds of St. Anne Catholic Church in Detroit, MI, during religious services. CBP agents handcuffed and detained a Latino man on the church grounds, but he was later released because he was living in the U.S. legally, said Ryan Bates, director of the Michigan office of the Alliance for Immigrants’ Rights and Reform.

Advocates and religious leaders claim that this raid is the latest incident of profiling of the Latino community. Three Latino social service groups say federal agents stalk and harass their clients. And parents dropping off their kids at a predominantly Latino school in Detroit were targeted in March.

"It is completely inappropriate for Border Patrol to be at a church during Mass," said the Rev. Tom Sepulveda, pastor of St. Anne Church in Detroit. "There are simply some places that should be sacred. No one should be afraid to come to church." Read more.

REEL Images of Immigration: A Movie Guide

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform has created "REEL Images of Immigration," a guide to help churches, friends, and individuals engage with issues surrounding our national immigration system and policy. Many Christians are already involved in caring for their immigrant neighbors, but have questions about how to fix the system. The film guide helps spark conversation, discussion, and reflection about why and how we should work for reform. Download the guide here.

Understanding link between racism and immigration enforcement

Checkpoint Nation? Building Community Across Borders is a new video by Rights Working Group and the human rights group Breakthrough. It documents harassment, racial profiling, and immigration enforcement at the US – Mexico border, while highlighting growing multiracial solidarity in the struggle for justice. This video may be used to start a conversation in your community. View the video here.