In 2018 the United Parish of Auburndale raised $2,668 for JUSTICE for OUR NEIGHBORS of Woburn, MA.
If you or someone you know is in need of free immigrant legal legal aid offered by Justice for our Neighbors in the United States of America, follow this link: http://njfon.org/our-services/legal-clinics/
“My name is Joao. I left Brazil more than 10 years ago. I had no choice but to leave behind my young son. It took me many many years and over $10,000 to navigate the US immigration system and finally obtain permanent residence. Worried about my son back in Brazil, I met with the attorney at JFON and she explained that I could sponsor my son for a green card too. JFon handled all the papers and filed my son’s case. JFON handled the case for free. After the receipt notice arrived I called JFON crying. I could not believe that the process had started. I am very grateful that God has placed JFON Woburn in my path. It will be another 2-3 years before I am actually reunited with my son. But the process has begun and for that I am very grateful.”
In Brazil, Karla lived in a favela managed by a gang. Karla was raped and had no where to turn for help. The situation in her neighborhood was worse every single day. She often witnessed murder and violent attacks. The police do not even enter this neighborhood in fear. Karla became pregnant as a result of the rape. Karla was afraid to raise a baby in that violent environment. She decided to go with her cousin to America. She took her life savings and then borrowed more. She bought a ticket to Mexico. Then she walked many miles in the desert heat to reach the US immigration check point at the US Mexico border. She waited in line for hours to apply for Poltical asylum at the border. She was detained by immigration at the border for many weeks. Finally, she was released and allowed to continue her journey to Massachusetts. Here she met her family already living here. They invited her to our church and then to JFON Woburn. Seven months pregnant, Karla has JFON to help her find a way to stay in the US.
Cyntia did everything right. She entered the USA with a visa and never violated her status. She fell in love and married a U.S. Citizen. They had a baby. Immigration approved her for a conditional green card. It is valid for two years. All was well but her husband began drinking too much and became abusive. As an immigrant that spoke very little English, she did not know where to go for help. Her husband became more and more violent. He often said that he would get her deported if she reported his abuse. Cynthia came to JFON and the attorney explained that she can leave her husband and go to a safe place without being deported. JFON is helping her.
Josef is an 18 year old from Haiti. He has lawful permanent resident status since age 8. He has lived in the USA his entire life. Josef attends high school full time and also works part time at a local convenience store. Five days before his 18th birthday, his father kicked him out of the home. DCF declined to become involved because he had aged out of the system a few days after he was put out on the street. He has not seen his mother in many years and she lives in Haiti. Since he left Haiti at age 8, he has not returned or visited Haiti. JFON Woburn helped him file an I-90 extension of his Lawful Permanent Resident Status. We also registered him for the selective service and filed his application for US Naturalization on an expedited basis due to his homeless status. JFON Volunteers are also trying to help Josef find a stable housing situation. Via the local church, Josef received a generous donation of over $400 for Immigration filing fees as well as food via the church’s soup kitchen and clothing.
JFON Lowell met recently with two minor children from Uganda. Both had entered the USA on performer visas as part of a dance troop. Both children lost parents due to violence in Uganda and were taken in by a UMC Lowell church member who has been named Legal Guardian of the two young men. JFON Lowell will be assisting these young boys with processing as Special Immigrant Juveniles which will make them eligible for US Permanent Residence after a very long process.
JFON Woburn met recently with a Boston University Divinity School student from Congo. We assisted him with applying for U.S. Naturalization.
JFON Woburn connected Jordana with a local law firm that was able to assist her with filing a wage and hour claim against a former employer. This young woman was physically battered by her former employer and forced to work 12 hour days as a housekeeper. The family recently settled for $15,000.00 and Jordana is now able to start fresh here in Woburn, MA.