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Unfair Deportation Averted

September 13, 2017

Ann Naffier, an attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), has been working with a couple from Central America in the last few years.  They came to the United States more than 15 years ago. Their three children were born here, and the husband works hard in a factory in eastern Iowa.ann.naffier.2017

Unfortunately, the couple fell prey to an attorney from California who was helping people apply for political asylum even though they were not qualified, and they ended up in deportation proceedings.

They came to Ann at the JFON clinic in Cedar Rapids in 2015 to assist them in preparing for a fairly complicated legal procedure to grant them a work permit and temporary protection from deportation. This legal procedure, once quite rare, had become more common in the last few years, but in recent months radically different immigration policies have been threatening its use.

She met early this year with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) supervisor to discuss the case. It was quickly approved and presented to an Immigration Judge to get the official order closing their deportation cases just days before President Trump’s inauguration.  The couple is now in temporary, but stable and indefinite, legal status. This experience, Ann reported, “redeemed my faith in the goodness of all people.”

JFON is one of seven District Askings supported by the United Methodist churches in southeast Iowa.

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