JFON Assists Immigrant Children

Last Friday’s edition of the Des Moines Register (January 23) has a feature article on one of our mission organizations serving in the Iowa Conference. Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) is a faith-driven ministry, welcoming immigrants into our churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.

The Register article features the needs of unaccompanied immigrant children. It cites a report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University that indicates that “nine of ten children who have appeared in immigration court without legal representation have been deported since 2005.”

However, 47 percent of children with legal representation were allowed to stay in the country. JFON attorneys in Iowa, Ann Naffier and Brynne Howard, shared their experiences working on these kinds of cases in an interview for the article.

Six clinic sites are hosted by United Methodist churches and their volunteers throughout the state. These clinics are offered on a monthly basis in Cedar Rapids, Columbus Junction, Ottumwa, Des Moines, and Storm Lake. Decorah hosts a clinic quarterly.

JFON is affiliated with the Iowa Board of Global Ministries of the Iowa Conference. Funding for this ministry comes in part from apportionment dollars contributed by United Methodist congregations in Iowa. Learn more about JFON at their website, www.iajfon.org.

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