JFON exterior 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. In our first year of operation, we have served over 100 clients.  Visit the JFON-NIC new website at nijfon.org.  

News

Michael & Lisl May Day March

Champions of Justice Award

The Rev. Michael Mann and Rev. Lisl Heymans Paul will receive the Champions of Justice – Founders Award from Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors at the JFON 5th Anniversary Dinner, Sept. 18, 2016, at 4:30 pm at Elgin Community College.  “We wanted to start a tradition where every year we honor an outstanding contributor to…

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Keep Families Together – Marcel’s Story

Marcel arrived to the clinic a little late, baby and diaper bag in arms, two other young children holding hands. Dimples flashing, he smiled gratefully as he was shown to the hospitality and child engagement area.  He waited for his French interpreter to arrive while a volunteer reached way back to her high school French…

Keep Families Together – Johnny’s story

Johnny and his wife, Linda, win the Chicago Clinic’s “Cutest Couple” award.  They came in to file a petition for Johnny, who could now be sponsored by his new wife. In perfect, unaccented English, Johnny answered the dozens of questions on the application.  He paused and looked puzzled when asked, “Have you ever smuggled anyone…

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Help keep families together

Maricela* was six years old when her mom made the heart-wrenching decision to leave her with her grandmother in Mexico so she could find work in Chicago to support her young children.  Maricela remembers standing at the window calling after her mom’s departing figure, “Mami, come back, please, I promise I’ll be good.” Her mom wasn’t…

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NIJON celebration sends message of welcoming to refugees

Claudia Smith of Aurora, Ill., reflected on being the Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors‘ first client during a special celebration held on Saturday, April 2. After assistance by a clinic attorney, Smith became a volunteer at the monthly outreach. Remarks by Smith, other clients and volunteers highlighted a luncheon to celebrate the clinic’s fifth…

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Churches targeted in separate crimes

Bishop Sally Dyck called for prayers for the congregations which experienced burglaries and vandalism following the Easter holiday this week. Living Faith UMC in Waukegan was broken into and several items stolen late Sunday or early Monday morning and Waukegan San Pablo reported an attempted break-in on Wednesday. At Lincoln UMC in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood,…

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Your Apportionment Faithfulness has Made a Difference [April 2016]

“It changed how I saw people.” In 2013, I was visiting the site of a newly opened Justice For Our Neighbors immigration clinic in Rockford, Illinois. As a part of my visit, I sat down with an intake volunteer who was new to the program. Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) provides immigration legal help at…

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Bishop Dyck calls on lawmakers to allow Syrian refugees in U.S.

By Kathy L. Gilbert (UMNS) In the midst of calls to cast out refugees, United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck traveled to Capitol Hill to add her voice to those of other national faith leaders and three U.S. senators calling for lawmakers to show mercy. Dyck, Northern Illinois Conference, wrote a letter to Illinois Governor Bruce…

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Letter to Gov. Rauner – Allow Syrian Refugees

Dear Governor Rauner: As the bishop of The United Methodist Church in Northern Illinois, I am asking you to reconsider your decision to refuse Syrian refugees from settling in Illinois. United Methodists across the world, including Germany, have been involved in resettling Syrians in our countries and states. It is part of our biblical tradition (Deuteronomy 10:17-19…

Migrants form a crowd at the Keleti pályaudvar train station Sept. 2 in Budapest while waiting passage to Germany, Austria and other wealthier countries within the European Union where the laws on refugee protection are better. Photo by Daniel Peters for UMNS

Responding to the Syrian Crisis

By Rev. Michael Mann Over the past two weeks, many congregations throughout the United States have vocalized their deep lament in response what has been called “the biggest refugee crisis since World War II” as nearly 4 million Syrian refugees have fled their country over the past few years. The Northern Illinois Justice For Our…

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