JFON Client Stories

JFON Client stories

Please share these stories of Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors clients with your churches.     Client Story  from Brynne Howard  (June 9, 2017 Staff Report to JFON Board)   Martha and her husband, Marcos had already had been led down several dead-end paths and spent thousands of dollars on attorneys trying to obtain legal status for Martha by the time they came to meet with Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors. Martha came to the United States more than 20 years ago.  Soon after Martha came to the U.S....

Client stories from Justice For Our Neighbors

Client stories from Justice For Our Neighbors

These stories are written by JFON staff. All names have been changed to protect confidentiality. Jose Jose came to us after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was unable to pay his private attorney because he was undergoing chemotherapy and unable to work. Due to a misunderstanding with his previous attorney, he had allowed his work authorization to lapse and is at risk of losing his health insurance. Because Jose’s case is time-sensitive, and the great risk to Jose’s health, JFON has taken a ...

God “loves the righteous”—Psalm 146

In the Disciples by The Upper Room for June 1, I came across thoughts about God’s desire for righteousness, which seem to apply to us, here and now, in the United Methodist Church, as supporters of the ministry of Justice for Our Neighbors.  “In the midst of reciting God’s acts of compassion on behalf of the oppressed and hurting, the psalmist writes this new and different line: The Lord loves the righteous.”   “And who are the righteous? We might assume they are morally perfect people. Instead ...

Iowa JFON supports funding of the Refugee Rise Americorps program

Iowa JFON supports funding of the Refugee Rise Americorps program

Htay, right, was an interpreter for Kwa at the March "Green Card" Clinic. Both are refugees from Burma.

Going to Immigration Court

At the Decorah United Methodist Church’s Justice for Our Neighbors legal clinic in January, Alicia met a group of folks who take Jesus’ counsel in Matthew 25 seriously.   I was blessed to help out this group of Good Samaritans and do some transportation for Alicia as a follow-up to her appointment with immigration attorney Ann Naffier, staff attorney for Justice for Our Neighbors.    I had a chance to get to know Alicia and her little daughter Martita while driving from Des Moines to Omaha to ...

Saving Starfish—Making a difference in the lives of young immigrants, one by one

Saving Starfish—Making a difference in the lives of young immigrants, one by one

After the Postville Raid. Photo credit: Fair Immigration Reform,

Jesse’s Future

Ann Naffier, one of our staff attorneys for Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors, writes about a recent imimgrant client. Ann travels to the United Methodist Church in Decorah and in Columbus Junction, to Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids and to Wesley United Methodist Church in Ottumwa. Ann shared this story at the Laity Day on April 25, 2015, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Des Moines.

Client Story from Brynne Howard for the March 28, 2015 JFON committee meeting

In 2011, JFON helped a teacher from Guatemala, Raymundo* obtain withholding of removal (a form of relief similar to asylum) based on persecution he feared due to his active membership in a teacher’s union.   In 2014, Raymundo contacted JFON again because his 14 year-old daughter, Gloria* was detained on the border.  She had entered the United States as an unaccompanied minor – making the perilous journey from Guatemala to the USA alone.  She left Guatemala after she was twice threatened with ...

April Palma joins JFON as the unaccompanied minors attorney in March 2015

April Palma joins JFON as the unaccompanied minors attorney in March 2015

April Palma joined JFON as the unaccompanied minors attorney in March 2015. April grew up near Denver, CO and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs in 2011. She received her law degree from Drake Law School in 2014. During Law school April clerked for Iowa Legal Aid and represented individuals in the Tax Clinic. April is licensed to practice law in Iowa and is fluent in Spanish.   April lives in Clive  and when not ...

On Race and Hope – A Community Valuing All People

On Race and Hope – A Community Valuing All People

By Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble Note: These words from Bishop Julius C. Trimble were shared as part of a lecture at Cornell College Mt. Vernon Iowa, November 11,2014. He shares them as an offering for constructive conversation and as lament and hope as we seek a more excellent way in light of Protest and destruction in Ferguson, Missouri. When it comes to the subject of race, racism, and American tribalism, I am a harbinger of hope, a trafficker of love. However I do believe we suffer more as a ...

A Story with a Happy Ending

Laura* was a 13-year-old girl in Mexico when a 30-year-old man befriended her and promised her a house, work and school in Los Angeles. He said he just wanted to help her to be able to help support her mother and younger sisters in Mexico. Instead he kept her locked up in his Los Angeles apartment for two years, raped her, and forced her to cook and clean for him. One day she finally convinced him to allow her to go to the store for groceries. Although she did not speak a word of English, and ...

Finally, Martha* is a Citizen

Martha, who is originally from Kenya, came to Iowa Justice for Our Neighbors after her citizenship application had been pending for almost two years. She filed her application when she lived in Ohio. At her first citizenship interview, the officer did not believe she met the requirement that she live in Ohio 90 days prior to filing her application for citizenship. Her application was denied for this very minor reason.  Martha’s previous attorney filed an appeal with evidence that she did meet ...

Joy Moore Explains Her Work with Iowa JFON

  One of our priorities at Iowa JFON is the representation of abused immigrants, one of the most vulnerable and exploited populations in our midst.  Since November 2013, we have been able to increase our capacity to serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with a grant from the Department of Justice, opening more than 60 new cases in 7 months and providing advice and counsel to several others who lacked a remedy under the law.  It has been my honor to be able to advocate for these ...

Preparing the Best Case for Hadia

Hadia* is a current client who was referred to our Domestic Violence Project by a non-profit agency working with victims of violence in rural Iowa.  Hadia had married her U.S. citizen husband in her home country and their time together there was idyllic, complete with the joyful news of a new baby.  Her husband returned to the U.S. so he could send for them, and Hadia and her young son immigrated legally. But after she came to the U.S. the relationship became a nightmare.  She experienced ...