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Washington Hosts JFON Celebration

April 15, 2015

The mission committee at the United Methodist Church of Washington wanted to learn more about Latino ministries. Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) hosts a monthly legal clinic in Columbus Junction, just 18 miles away, so they invited Ann Naffier, an immigration attorney with the ministry, to visit with them last Sunday. SheAnn Naffier spoke during worship in the morning and in a district celebration that afternoon.

She dispel some myths about the immigration process in the United States. For instance, contrary to widely held public opinion, undocumented immigrants—unless they are refugees—are ineligible for government support through our nation’s welfare system. And even persons with legal documentation must wait five years before becoming eligible for such support, often while paying into Social Security through their employers.

Despite the many obstacles faced by their clients, JFON is often able to help immigrants navigate complex immigration policies. One young Salvadoran mother of two, for example, fled domestic abuse but became stranded in Chiapas without funds to continue the journey to the U.S. Her ex-mother-in-law postponed her own surgery and sold her television and freezer in order to help the family move north. “With tears in her eyes,” as she received legal support from JFON, the young mother told “how she was going to Memphis to stay with her ex-mother-in-law and nurse her back to health after her surgery.”

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