National Justice for Our Neighbors
April, 2017 
 
 
Making an Impact 
 
Impact Litigation creates far-reaching change in the lives of immigrants
 
 
Each year, the JFON network of attorneys change, protect, and even save the lives of thousands of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. They do this one client at a time, slogging through the miles of paperwork, filings, and court appearances for each case. 

But what if you—through your client’s case—could change, protect, or save the life of not only one individual, but hundreds, even thousands of people?
 
Charles “Shane” Ellison, NJFON consulting attorney and legal director for Justice for Our Neighbors Nebraska, is no stranger to high-profile cases of national importance; last year, he authored and filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief before the U.S. Supreme Court.  
 
He’s proud that JFON continues to engage in meaningful work of impact litigation.
 
“When you are able to positively change policy—and in some instances, create law—though an individual case, you can help countless people with similar cases who come after that original client,” he explains. “The potential for making an impact on the lives of immigrants through this type of litigation is extremely exciting.”
 
Remberto Aguinada-Lopez was in a detention center, his asylum request denied, when Shane first came across his case...  
 
 
 
 Continue reading HERE.
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The Story of Passover 

The deliverance from slavery. The dramatic and triumphal exodus to freedom. 
 
Dayenu! It would have been enough for us. 
 
But Exodus is also the story of a vast refugee crisis; for 40 years, a nation of people wandered the desert, homeless, friendless, and stateless.
 
In our own time, there are currently 65 million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people worldwide. Today, and every day, 34,000 people will be forced to flee their homes because of violence, war, persecution, or natural or man-made disaster.
 
And all of them are God's people, too. 
 
As we remember the exodus of our biblical ancestors, let us also be mindful of our many blessings. Let us resolve to act, in ways both great and small, to bring comfort and compassion to those still wandering, still longing, still desperately searching for a place to call home.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Seven Minutes: Anuk's Story

Halting Refugee Resettlement Creates More Chaos in Immigration Courts

 
by Wade Munday, Executive Director, Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors
 
 
The smoke was heavy and thick in Anuk’s village in Sudan. The stench overwhelmed aid workers from clean-smelling places like Switzerland and France.
 
Anuk’s village had just been attacked by men on horseback in a genocide that had been permitted by the government of Sudan and carried out by the Janjaweed militia.
 
Between 2003 and 2008, they spared no one. Half a million people – including children, babies, and the elderly – were wiped from the barren earth in the place they called home.
 
Years later, in a country of plenty, Anuk waits for an immigration judge to answer his cry for justice. He applied for asylum – protection provided to people who are already in the U.S. and can prove they face persecution in their home country. Our country protects people who are persecuted abroad on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or hold a certain political opinion.
 
Anuk is afraid that if he returns home the government of Sudan will not protect him because of his tribal affiliation. Having watched the real human carnage carried out by terrorists, he has good reason.
 
So here sits Anuk, a new arrival in America, waiting for an immigration court judge to determine his fate.
 
 
 
Continue reading HERE. 
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All Together Now  
 
United Methodists work to better serve refugees & migrants  
 
 
Representatives from 10 UMC agencies and their partners met in Atlanta, Georgia, last month to share information and discuss ways to work together for greater impact on the lives of a record number of displaced people worldwide.
 
Please read the full story HERE.

NJFON Executive Director Rob Rutland-Brown spoke at the event, giving his unique persepctive as the head of a network of 17 sites across the country providing imigration legal aid to low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylees. 
 
Rob was also interviewed while in Atlanta. Please watch the interview on our YouTube Channel. 
 
 
 
 
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The Call to Mission: Why we Serve  
 
“When I see the stress they go through—both the attorneys and clients—that tugs on me,” admits NJFON board member Vidal Cordova, after volunteering at an immigration legal clinic hosted by Just Neighbors, our JFON site here in Northern Virginia. 
 
Vidal, an immigration attorney from San Diego, California, is among several new NJFON board members this year, each of them bringing a wide range of strengths, knowledge and interests to help our JFON network thrive and grow. 
 
 
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Vidal spent his formative years as the son of missionaries in Panama. JFON is a family affair: His sister, a UMC pastor in Coral Gables, Florida, also sits on the board of South Florida JFON. Vidal has also felt the call to mission work: he volunteers monthly as an interpreter with a medical team in a homeless shelter in Tijuana, Mexico.
 
Vidal is quick to point out that he has no medical training, although he has “learned a few things about triage and assessment.”
 
He put these skills to good use at the Just Neighbors’ clinic, doing intake assessments for several clients over the course of the evening.
 
“I think experiences like these are really necessary if you want to be a good board member,” he says. “It brings home why we do what we do.”
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Happy Easter!  
 
 We pray that the Easter light of life, hope and joy,
will live in us each day;
and that we will be bearers of that light
into the lives of others.

 
                    From An Easter Prayer for United Methodists. 
 
 
 
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