JFON is a ministry of hospitality in Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo and Traverse City that welcomes immigrants into our communities by providing affordable, high-quality immigration legal services, engaging in advocacy for immigrants’ rights and offering education to communities of faith and the public.
We accept new clients through monthly clinic format with a pre-scheduled appointment. To have your case considered for clinic, please complete this form:
Upcoming Clinic Dates are posted on JFON’s home page
What We Do
- Family Petitions Click Here to view “Can my Family Apply for Me?” brochure
- Adjustment of Status
- Asylum Applications
- Representation in Immigration Court
- Religious Worker Visas
- Self-Petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Click here to view VAWA brochure
- U Visas for Victims of Crime Click Here to view U Visa brochure
- T Visas for Victims of Trafficking
- Temporary Protective Status
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Advice and Counsel
Our services provided regardless of race or religion. Snapshot of Current Caseload:
To print a copy: 2014 West Michigan Clients Served Info Sheet
Administrative Relief DACA and DAPA
- A new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program will allow undocumented people who have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident son or daughter to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation, if the person has been in the U.S. since January 1, 2010 and meets other requirements. An estimated 4.1 million people should qualify for this program.
- The existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded and will cover people who entered the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday and have lived continuously in the U.S. since January 1, 2010. People who were “aged out” of DACA by being older than age 31 on June 15, 2012, are now eligible to apply, regardless of how old they are now. Approximately 300,000 people will benefit from these changes.
- Certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents and adult children of U.S. citizens may be able to get their lawful permanent resident (“green card”) status through a waiver process. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are currently able to apply through this process.
- Even if you are eligible for these programs, you cannot apply for them yet! The government expects that it will start accepting applications within three months from now for those eligible for expanded DACA, and within six months from now for those eligible for DAPA.
- Do not take advice about your immigration case from a notary public or an immigration consultant. Contact only a qualified immigration lawyer or an accredited representative for legal advice about your case. You can find MIRC’s service provider reference guide here:http://michiganimmigrant.org/find-services. If you encounter notario fraud, report it here:http://www.stopnotariofraud.org
- If you know someone who is in immigration detention and is eligible for one of these programs, advise them to identify themselves to their case officer, or the ICE Information Line at 888-351-4024, and explain that they are eligible for one of these new programs.
- Sign up for alerts from www.iamerica.org which is organized by trusted national organizations.
- If you believe you are eligible, begin preparing now by gathering documents that prove:
Resources to Help Unaccompanied Children
The Immigration Advocates Network and the American Bar Association, in partnership with Pro Bono Net, are pleased to announce the launch of a new website, the Unaccompanied Children Resource Center at www.uacresources.org. It was created in response to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refuge in the United States.
The site brings together the country’s leading bar association, pro bono lawyers, and resources from leading immigrants’ right organizations to increase access to justice and reduce barriers for children navigating the deportation process. It features training manuals, webinars and practice advisories to help nonprofit legal staff and pro bono attorneys represent children in proceedings. It also includes a national directory of volunteer opportunities for pro bono lawyers, links to key resources, and up-to-date news and events.
For the families and guardians of unaccompanied children, the site offers basic legal information, including videos on what to expect in immigration court, and plain language materials on immigration law and procedure. Children and their guardians can search for legal help through a national directory of nonprofit legal service providers. The website is updated regularly with news, upcoming trainings and events, new developments in the law, materials for clients, and highlights on initiatives and partnerships that share information, match children to counsel, and more.
Protect Yourself – Finding Qualified Advisory and Reporting Fraud
A new initiative by USCIS – “The Wrong Help Can Hurt” is attempting to get qualified help and stop those exploiting immigrants. For more information: Wrong Help Hurts
Questions about college if you are undocumented? click here
Know Your Rights
For information regarding your rights from raid to hearing click here
Information on contacting ICE:
ICE Detention – Finding your family member:
If you believe that a loved one is being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you can call the ICE detention facilities where you think he or she is being held. A list of detention facilities is listed on ICE’s website: http://www.ice.gov/pi/dro/facilities.htm
If you are certain that your loved one is being detained, but ICE does not have your love one’s information, you can try calling the US Marshall’s office nearest the detention facility. Sometimes the US Marshalls will restrict ICE’s ability to give information about the detainee’s identity if the detainee will testify for the US government in a federal case (e.g., against a smuggler).
A list of US Marshall district offices is listed at: http://www.usmarshals.gov/contacts/districts.htm
ICE Detention – Getting a Family Member released on bond:
If your loved one has been detained, he or she may ask an immigration judge to order his or her release under bond while his or her case is pending. A bond is an amount of money paid to the Department of Homeland Security to guarantee that the detainee will appear in court for all of his or her hearings and obey the immigration judge’s order. If your loved one attends all of his or her hearings, and obeys the judge’s order, then the money will be returned to the person who paid the bond at the end of the proceedings (regardless of whether he or she wins or loses). If your loved one does not appear in court, the money will not be returned and he or she may be ordered removed or deported by the immigration judge. A judge cannot order a loved one’s release or set a bond if he or she was detained while entering the United States or if he or she has been convicted of serious crimes (although some exceptions apply). Consult an attorney to discuss whether your loved one is eligible for a bond. The immigration judge will consider two factors when deciding whether to grant, reduce or increase a bond:
1) Whether your loved one will be a danger to the community and
2) Whether your loved one will be a flight risk if released.
Data compiled from various sources, including the National Immigrant Justice Center, www.immigrantjustice.org.