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National Justice for Our Neighbors
April 2016 Update 
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The Full-Circle Moment
 
by JFON Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney Maria Macias
 
 
I spent the week of February 28 in Dilley, Texas. Dilley is home to the South Texas Family Residential Center (SFTRC), a privately run detention center that profits from detaining women and children.
 
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project (CARA) provides free  legal representation to the women and children detained at STFRC.  National Justice for Our Neighbors and JFON Dallas-Fort Worth agreed to jointly sponsor me so I could volunteer with CARA for an entire week.
 
It was a rewarding experience and one I’ll never forget. I left the center in awe of the women’s bravery, but also dismayed at the way these courageous women are treated when they are apprehended by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and during the time they are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 
 
 
    Read on here.
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Making the Miracle Happen
Sister Norma's Mission
 
Borderlands, Part Two
 
On Day Two of our trip to the Rio Grande Valley and the border towns of McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico, NJFON staff and board members visited a shelter for migrants on the U.S. side of the border.  
 
She’s the heroine of countless news stories and articles. She’s been labeled an angel, a saint and compared to Mother Teresa. She’s even been personally thanked by the Pope for her work ministering to migrants on the Texas border. 

But if Sister Norma Pimentel is a saint, she’s no John the Baptist, with a voice crying in the wilderness. Instead, she seems to take St. Paul as her model: competent, capable, a born organizer who nudges people until they do the right thing.  
 
Gracious and soft-spoken, within her there is an unwavering core of steel that just doesn't accept the words "we can't."
 
By early summer 2014, the border crisis at McAllen was fast reaching its zenith. Each day, the Border Patrol was dropping off hundreds of Central American families—mostly mothers and children—at the local bus station with nothing more than a bus ticket to someplace in America where they had relatives and a “notice to appear” at an immigration court.  The scene at the bus station was chaotic.
 
These families had been traveling for days, weeks, sometimes months. They needed rest, food, showers, and fresh clothes. They needed comfort. They needed to feel welcomed. 
 
Read on here
 
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At long last, America   
 
Sze Ming Ho was only 14 years old when he ran away from his home near Shanghai, China. It was the beginning of Chairman Mao’s disastrous “Great Leap Forward” which would condemn millions to death by starvation, including the boy’s own grandfather.
 
Sze Ming headed to British-held Hong Kong, where he got a job as a merchant mariner for a Danish shipping line. He first came to America as a crew member in 1966 and jumped ship. He was caught and deported. He tried again some years later, and this time he was able to stay in the United States..

He married, had children, and made sure they had the university education denied him.  He worked as a cook for 50 years and he paid taxes. He received his green card in 1981.  
 
He learned English by reading American newspapers, and he engages in lively discussions on a variety of issues facing the nation and the world.    
 
He is proud to have achieved his goals in this “melting country,” he says, and has never wanted to return to China.
 
“I am very loyal to this country,” he says. “I love this free country.”
 
On March 25 in the City of New York, Mr. Sze Ming Ho, 73 years of age, raised his right hand and took the oath of U.S. citizenship.  
 
Why now? Why after all these years did he decide to finally become a citizen? 
 
“I want to vote," he answers decisviely, "to help the country get well again. That is the reason."   
 
Site attorney TJ Mills of the New York Justice for Our Neighbors' Chinatown clinic helped Mr. Ho with the citizenship process. 
 
"He is a wonderful lawyer," says Mr. Ho. "They are all very good Christians." 
 
Now a registered voter, Sze Ming Ho also hopes to serve on a jury one day.  
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