National Justice for Our Neighbors
January 2016 Update 
Epiphany at Dilley  
Attorney banned at South Texas Detention Center
August 2015, Dilley Family Detention Center, South Texas
It was another hot and sticky day in South Texas. The agent from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) looked at attorney Andrew Free with frustration. He was fed up with the complaints from the lawyers representing the detainees.  
“Look, you are getting unprecedented access here,” he told Andrew.  “More than you would ever get anywhere else.”
“That’s because you are detaining children here,” Andrew countered. “You are putting children in prison.”

          Read on here.
Saving Starfish  
Making a difference in the lives of young immigrants, one by one 
Over 1000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agents, heavily armed and wearing full SWAT gear, executed the largest workplace raid in U.S. history in Postville, Iowa on May 12, 2008.   
Nearly 389 immigrant workers at the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant were arrested.  Within four days, some 300 of them—mostly Guatemalan—were convicted on document fraud charges. The majority served a five-month prison sentence before being deported.
Families were ripped apart. Many who were not caught in the initial raid fled the area, cutting the town’s population of 2,273 almost in half. The raid—which cost the U.S. taxpayer more than $5 million—devastated the local economy. It also devastated the people—both immigrant and native-born—who lived in the area.
“It deeply affected me because they were—are—my friends,” says Kathi Mitchell, co-coordinator of the Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors clinic in nearby Decorah. Her usual cheerful face grows cloudy at the memory. ”And also it was very unjust,” she adds quietly.

Read on here.
Resources from Our Partners 
In the story above, we remember the infamous Postville Immigration Raid of 2008, which had such devastating consequences for so many people in Northeast Iowa.
This month, we watch in dismay as federal immigration agents begin rounding up Central American families—mostly women and children fleeing from the carnage of their home countries—for deportation. 
From our partners at the Interfaith Immigration Coalition:
Know Your Rights!
It is imperative to educate all immigrant communities on know-your-rights resources. The most important information is DON’T OPEN THE DOOR to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), police or anyone else if they do not have a warrant signed by a judge.
Report When A Raid Is Happening:
HOTLINE: 1-844-363-1423
 Beginning a New Year with Gratitude 
 Barb Dale, Hospitality Coordinator for Iowa JFON's Decorah Clinic, with two young visitors. 
Thank you to our volunteers, like Andrew and Kathi in the stories above, who are the lifeblood of JFON’s work. We are grateful for the nearly 50 pro bono attorneys who undertake casework through our offices, as well as the hundreds of individuals who support our mission through serving on boards, providing childcare at clinics, serving meals, interpreting, scheduling clients, and myriad other ways.
Rob Rutland-Brown
Executive Director 

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