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National Justice for Our Neighbors provides hospitality and compassion to low-income immigrants through immigration legal services, advocacy, and education.
Founded in 1999 by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Justice For Our Neighbors is one way in which churches can walk alongside immigrants as they come out of hiding to seek remedy for their immigration situations. Through interaction with Justice For Our Neighbors, immigrants not only receive immigration counseling, they also find places to belong, ways to contribute, and individuals who care about their lives here.
We are a volunteer-based model, with staff attorneys at each site working with volunteers to serve immigrants so that families can unite, women can escape domestic violence, and eligible individuals can attain work authorization.
Justice For Our Neighbors is a network of 15 locally funded and managed sites that operate approximately 40 church-based immigration legal clinics serving more than 3,000 low-income clients a year. The National Justice For Our Neighbors office provides support, guidance, and oversight to all the Justice For Our Neighbor sites, including:
- Assistance with the establishment and vetting of new Justice For Our Neighbor sites
- Legal mentoring and guidance to the network
- Training of volunteers who conduct client intake, provide hospitality, advocate, and much more
- Provision of admiinstrative support and payment for necessities such as liability insurance, case management systems, and legal research tools for each site
- Sharing best practices with sites and facilitating communication so sites can learn from one another
- Sponsorship of annual gathering of sites to connect, learn, and share in the challenges and joys of serving low-income immigrants
Justice For Our Neighbors has had a tremendous impact on the lives of the immigrants it serves while at the same time helping to strengthen churches and communities. We seek to further the mission of United Methodist annual conferences and local congregations as they respond to the needs of the immigrants in their midst.
More than numbers can express, Justice For Our Neighbors changes lives by reuniting families after years of separation, by helping immigrant women suffering domestic violence to live in the United States safely and permanently without dependence on an abuser, and by enabling eligible immigrants to attain authorization to work.
Justice For Our Neighbors sites take on a wide range of immigration cases, including asylum cases for those seeking protection from persecution or even death, survivors of human trafficking who apply for protection, detention cases, and many more. The Justice For Our Neighbors network also leads immigrant communities to better understand their rights and equip faith communities to respond quickly to emerging threats, such as workplace raids or emerging ministry opportunities created by changes in immigration policy or practice.
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