Immigration & Refugee News

News
How you can help Afghan refugees coming to Iowa

How you can help Afghan refugees coming to Iowa

10/22/2021

Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees, who is on the Iowa Conference's Board of Global Ministries shares that more than 1000 refugees are expected to be coming to Iowa during the coming year. They will be coming as humanitarian parolees and their needs are great because they have had to leave everything behind and flee. "They're just ...


Plans for immigration reform

Plans for immigration reform

3/18/2021

By Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees, Board of Global Ministries As promised by President Biden during his campaign for the presidency, he has announced a plan for immigration reform. If enacted, it would modernize the nation’s immigration system and provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans. This is an ...


Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

Exciting future for Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors

2/3/2021

For the last 21 years, Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors (JFON) has provided legal services to support immigrants and refugees in the state of Iowa as a ministry of the Iowa Annual Conference. In April 2021, Justice For Our Neighbors will merge with the American Friends Service Committee* to create the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice with continued ...


Does global warming affect migration?

Does global warming affect migration?

1/15/2021

by Karlene Neal, Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees   An article recently published by the New York Times Magazine, in cooperation with ProPublica, describes the connection between global warming and people's migration. The authors used climate and economic-development data to examine scenarios.   For most of human history, mankind has lived ...


Crowded camps next to the border

Crowded camps next to the border

7/29/2020

July 15, 2020 by Karlene Neal https://www.borderreport.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2019/08/Matamoros-Women-tent-082219.jpg?w=900   There are more than 2000 would-be migrants living in Mexico along the border in tents. They are very crowded and often have families.  Mexico is trying to be a good host but supplies such as safe water, food, ...


Supreme Court ruling on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Supreme Court ruling on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

7/17/2020

7/17/2020 By: Karlene Neal President Trump tried again to deport the young people (so called Dreamers) who were brought illegally into the US when they were still children. They have lived in the United States all their lives. President Obama, through Executive Order, gave 650,000 of these young, undocumented immigrants permission to live and work...


Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

Trump tightens procedures for migrants trying to gain asylum

3/27/2020

By: Karlene Neal Jose had risked his life trying to cross the border illegally with his mother. Finally he was given a chance to tell a judge his story. The judge asked Jose three questions: What’s your nationality? Why did you leave your country?  Why can’t you go back?  The judge accepted his explanation and granted him protection from ...


Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors celebrating 20 years of ministry

10/17/2019

Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month, and you are invited. The board of Iowa JFON is encouraging everyone to join to learn about its history as well as the plans for the future of JFON in our state.  Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors is a non-profit organization, welcoming low-income immigrants of all ...


New policy on asylum seekers

New policy on asylum seekers

10/1/2019

Oct. 1, 2019 According to a recent Supreme Court decision, the Trump administration can deny asylum to most migrants coming to the southern border.  This policy will allow border personnel to reject anyone who passed through another country on their way to the United States unless they apply for and then are rejected safe haven in the first country...


New rules for immigrants

New rules for immigrants

9/9/2019

Since the 19th century, self-sufficiency has been a foundation of U.S. immigration law. The Trump administration has expanded the definition “public charge” concerning immigrants. This policy makes it harder for legal migrants who use public benefits to get a green card. Low-income and less-educated foreigners will have a more difficult time ...


A model for alternatives to stemming migration

2/14/2019

By: Karlene Neal Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church Advocate for Immigrants and Refugees On Feb. 3, Nayib Bukele was elected the new president for El Salvador. Citizens of El Salvador demanded a policy of clean governance, which was Bukele’s main promise. He has invited the UN to set up an anti-corruption committee in El ...


Changes in policy for immigrants/refugees

12/3/2018

One of the strengths of our democracy is to have the right to challenge policy that Governments have put in place when a new administration takes office.  Jeff Sessions, previously the US Attorney General, did that upon taking office. President Obama and previous presidents had made policy regarding treatment of immigrants, border issues, and ...


Migrant Caravan

Migrant Caravan

11/19/2018

What started as a group of 160 people from the Honduran crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula has swelled to more than 7000 in Mexico City.  They are fleeing persecution, poverty, and violence in their home countries, primarily Honduras although people from Guatemala and El Salvador are also part of the group. Spreading word through social media, ...


'Zero tolerance' Bible quote criticized

'Zero tolerance' Bible quote criticized

6/18/2018

By Sam Hodges June 15, 2018 | UMNS U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ quoting of a New Testament verse to justify a new zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration has brought a fresh round of criticism from religious leaders, including fellow United Methodists. Sessions used a June 14 address in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to defend the Trump ...


What We Believe: Immigration

What We Believe: Immigration

5/11/2018

What We Believe: United Methodist Perspectives on Immigration in the United States Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2) “Welcoming the Migrant to the US” is a hallmark of United Methodist communities of faith, according to the 2016 Book of Resolutions of ...


"God bless this holy place and all who enter here"

3/23/2018

Psalm 127:1 Unless it is the Lord who builds the house, the builder’s work is pointless. Unless it is the Lord who protects the city, the guard on duty is pointless.   “You are the ones who are building the house, you are the ones who are protecting those who are defenseless, and God blesses you for your ministry here,” read Bishop Laurie Haller at...


Migration from Mexico

Migration from Mexico

10/30/2017

Over the past 15 years the net migration from Mexico to the US has been falling. Slower population growth, better schools, and the improving economy have combined to  encourage Mexicans to stay at home. Now immigrants more often come from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Some subgroups such as women and children traveling alone, and LGBTQ ...


What United Methodists Believe...

What United Methodists Believe...

11/18/2015

On the topic of Immigration… “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the ...


Immigration Ministry Reunites Families

2/24/2015

A Marshalltown woman faced a family crisis a few years ago when doctors explained that her 5-year-old had a life expectancy of only six years. She had a full-time job on the production line of the local Swift plant, so she had a steady income to care for family needs. The father was the primary caregiver for their house-bound child with the support...