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Legal Clinic in Columbus Junction

October 2, 2014

Once a month an attorney visits the United Methodist Church in Columbus Junction to help new immigrants with the legal paperwork necessary to update their documentation. Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) is a faith-based ministry, welcoming immigrants and refugees into our communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.

Affiliated with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Iowa Conference Board of Global Ministries, the ministry began 15 years ago. District Askings gifts from local churches throughout the Southeast District help to support the JFON clinic in Columbus Junction.

An average of 10 immigrants and refugees visit the legal clinic each month. Volunteers from several of our local churches work with the JFON attorney, Ann Naffier, at the clinic to welcome our guests and help them navigate paperwork, which is in a language that is sometimes unfamiliar.

Clients coming to the clinic live throughout this region of southeast Iowa. The town of Columbus Junction alone has a large number of Burmese refugees, who also hold worship services in the church on Sunday afternoons, as well as a large Latino immigrant community. Many of these new residents have been attracted to the area because of employment opportunities at the local packing plant.

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