Stand up for Families


Tell Congress to Support President Obama’s Deferred Action to Keep Families Together

Some members of Congress have threatened to stop administrative action through legislation, legal action or blocking funding for implementation. The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has supported the call for Immigration Reform and encouraged local communities to participate in ministries of mercy and justice.

It is important for Congress to hear from United Methodists that you support the president expanding deferred action.

“Immigrant families received a word of mercy and a measure of justice,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño (California-Pacific Conference), when she heard about the president’s deferred action executive order<>. “We thank God that these immigrant families can now come out of the shadows and are grateful to President Obama for the strong statement his action sends to the immigrant community and to Congress.”

“This good news was indeed a word of mercy pointing toward a focus on hope and not fear,” said Bishop Julius C. Trimble (Iowa), chairperson, United Methodist Interagency Task Force on Immigration<>.

President Obama has signed fewer executive orders than any president in 130 years. Deferred action is one of the many long-standing forms of prosecutorial discretion available to the Executive Branch. Indeed, every U.S. President since at least 1956<> has used their authority to offer temporary immigration relief to groups in need. Ronald Reagan used categorical grants of deferred action for large groups of undocumented immigrants in 1987, as did George H.W. Bush in 1990.

The United Methodist Church believes …

To refuse to welcome migrants to this country and to stand by in silence while families are separated, individual freedoms are ignored, and the migrant community in the United States is demonized by members of Congress and the media, is complicity to sin.

The United Methodist Church affirms the worth, dignity and inherent value and rights of every person regardless of their nationality or legal status. (Welcoming the Migrant to the United States<>, Book of Resolutions)

Please call your member of Congress NOW!

Tell Congress: “My name is _______, and I’m from (City, State, Congregation, Community). As a United Methodist, I support President Obama expanding deferred action to immigrant families. I ask Congress to support this decision and to promote its implementation.”

Please make your call now: 1-888-427-0530!

Information Poster for Admin Relief – for Spanish version go to: Noticias page

House’s Inaction Blamed on Children – Seriously??

Post election comment from Senator Boehner blamed the unaccompanied youth arriving at our border as the reason they have not acted.  This is the farthest stretch our leaders in House have ever made – and cannot go left without response from Immigation Advocates!  The timing alone does not correlate.  They were not proposing any action this summer just before an election.  And the culprit definitely had no agenda when they arrived at our border and pleaded for asylum.

Clip for that news conference on 11/6/2014:John_Boehner_official_portrait

Boehner said the House’s inaction on immigration was due to the influx of unaccompanied minors who have been caught crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, a problem that peaked this summer.

“What held us back last year was a flood of kids coming to the border because of the actions that the president had already taken,” Boehner said.

A reporter asked what had stopped House Republicans from taking up immigration during the 18 months before the border crisis.

“I could regale you with all of my challenges of trying to get members on both sides of the aisle to deal with this. They were numerous,” Boehner said. “But hope springs eternal.”

Boehner said he would have to talk to his fellow House Republicans before he could guarantee that the chamber would take up immigration reform if Obama agrees to drop his plans for executive action. Boehner added that he personally thinks Congress ought to address immigration reform.

“It’s time to deal with it,” he said.

Tell President Obama:

It is time for bold action on immigration

Tell President Obama: It is time for bold action on immigration

Before the elections, President Obama and Senate Democrats put political considerations above moral and humanitarian concerns of millions of aspiring Americans by delaying action on immigration reform until after the mid-term elections.

The president’s broken promise1 ended up backfiring as it deflated key parts of the Democratic party’s base.2

We cannot accept any more excuses, and we won’t accept half-measures. The president can no longer put off executive action to protect millions of our families who are at grave risk of being separated because of our broken immigration system.

Tell President Obama: Use all legal means available to suspend deportations and expand deferred action to immigrants who would have qualified for legalization under the Senate immigration reform bill.

To read more:  <<click here>>

To sign petition: <<click here>>

Administrative Relief Info

Brief summary:   President Obama promised yesterday that he is going to make an immigration executive order (which we also call “administrative relief”) by the end of this year.  The President stated that he will eliminate these Executive Orders if and when Congress enacts legislation which he can sign.
Additional information coming from other sources other than the article:  Some people in the advocate community expect the President will announce the administrative relief by mid-December.  We do not know who or how many people it will protect.  One possibility is parents of U.S. citizens who have lived in the U.S. for a certain period of time.  DREAMer groups and others are also pressing that the order  include parents of young people with DACA.

Ted Cruz Threatens to Force Senate Vote on Obama’s Amnesty Plans

President Obama, you can end the nightmares of 5.5 million children

From the Congress Blog of The Hill

November 05, 2014, 03:00 pm
By Rev. John L. McCullough

Can I be honest? I am sick and tired of the predictable victory and concession speeches that we hear on election nights. Politicians promise to listen to all their constituents – both those who voted for and against them. They promise to go to Washington and to get to work. They ritually close their speeches with the national creed of “God bless America.” But these hollow promises rarely seem to ring true. Instead, we end up with too many politicians who cater to corporate interests and fringe voices – rather than follow the call of justice, dignity and the promise of our nation.

In recent months, when our elected leaders have failed us by ignoring the need for immigration reform, the faith community has decided to take prophetic action and to stand in the gap. Congregations across the nation are providing physical sanctuary to immigrant moms and dads facing final orders of deportation. For these parents, sanctuary has been their last hope and last option to remain here in the U.S. with their kids. This prophetic action in cities across the country has captured the attention of millions, and we pray that they have also inspired Congress and the President to act.

Despite having the best chance in a generation to pass immigration reform, House Republicans decided to abdicate their responsibility rather than actually lead our nation and reform and restore confidence in our immigration system. Now, after the mid-term election, I sadly see no hope for legislative reform with the new Congress. The House Republican leadership has made their head-in-the-sand position clearly known and there is no indication that anything but that status quo will prevail in a new Senate.

Our elected leaders appear utterly detached from the reality of our nation’s families who are living amidst the broken pieces of our country’s immoral and dysfunctional immigration system. The reality that Congress refuses to face is that millions in this nation live in fear. One in 6 children in California has an undocumented parent. One in 20 workers is undocumented. And 3 in 5 undocumented immigrants have been here for more than 10 years. Across the nation, 5.5 million children have at least one undocumented parent.

The nightmares and fears of millions children must end. Too many children have already experienced coming home from school to find their parents gone. This nightmare of racial profiling at traffic stops resulting in detention, deportation and family separation must end. Our nation has a higher calling: to foster a society in which all our community members – regardless of documentation, race, ethnic background, creed, sexual orientation or economic status – can flourish and pursue their dreams. Read More »

NFJON Roundtable in DC

This September National Justice For Our Neighbors brought together representatives (staff, volunteers and board members) from each of the 17 JFON sites to our annual Roundtable gathering. This experience enables everyone in the network to learn from each other’s challenges and successes and to share in our compassion for working with our immigrant neighbors. This year’s gathering of 70 JFON folks in the Washington, D.C. area incorporated an advocacy day into to meet with legislators about issues of concern.

JFON competing in SwingShift Dance-Off

JFON was selected as one of the 6 charities for 2014 SwingShift and the Stars Dance-Off for Charity in Traverse City!!  Pastor Jose from the Presbyterian Church has graciously stepped up to represent JFON. So thankful for him and this exciting opportunity to introduce our ministry up north.  The competitive events kick-off in September and continue through October, November and December. All events are held on the third Friday of the month at the City Opera House.

Competitive Event Schedule – 9.19 / 10.17 / 11.21 / 12.19

6:30pm Doors Open
6:45pm Audience Dance Lesson
7:15pm Show Begins

SwingShift and the Stars Dance-Off for Charity is the brainchild of Judy Harrison, President and Owner of High Impact Productions. She is also the lead vocalist and creative manager for her band SwingShift. Judy was compelled to create an event that would combine two of her passions: music and philanthropy. Having attended plenty of fundraisers, she was convinced that “fun” needed to be reintroduced into charity fundraising, gala events and resource initiatives. She was sure that a fundraising event could be transformed into an irresistible experience for the donor. By combining a healthy dose of good-natured competition (Dancing With The Stars style) with an affordable opportunity for charities to educate the community about their mission and target demographic, she did just that.


Learn about SwingShift and the Stars!


Day of Prophetic Action in Washington, DC.


On July 31, 2014, over 100 faith leaders and immigration supporters gathered together for a Day of Prophetic Action in Washington, DC,  Their goal: To hold President Obama to his promise to take executive action on immigration before the end of the summer, and support his call for humanitarian aid for migrant children.

They were willing to risk arrest for this cause. Here is their story. click here

Statewide Day of Prayer

Please consider participating in a state-wide day of prayer for children at the border, on Sunday July 27, 2014, for the many children crossing our southern border who seek refuge from the dangerous situations they have left behind.

Attached you will find a suggested prayer in English and in Spanish. You can also download this PDF online here:
This can be read aloud during your service on Sunday July 27, or printed as a bulletin insert. (Technical details: it’s meant to be printed in landscape mode, with the flip on the short side of the page.)

NJFON Unaccompanied Minors Update

Urgent Humanitarian Crisis Overview
The surge of unaccompanied minors is a migration emergency that is growing in national attention as increasing numbers of children flee violence and extreme poverty in their home country and cross the border into the U.S.  Below is a brief overview of this crisis, along with some resources for more in-depth information.
What are the numbers? Some 60,000 minors have arrived in the past eight months and more than 30,000 are expected in the next four months.  While the numbers have been increasing over the past two years, this is an exponential spike and this number is expected to increase.
Where they are coming from? A majority of the children currently arriving at the border come from the Central American countries of Honduras (28 percent), Guatemala (24 percent), and El Salvador (21 percent), with the bulk of remaining children coming from Mexico (25 percent).
Why are they coming? There are several main push factors: faltering economies, large youth population, and rising crime and gang activity.  There are also pull factors: the desire for family reunification and changing operations of smuggling networks.
What happens to the children when they get to the U.S.? If a child migrant enters the U.S. as a national of Mexico he/she is eligible for voluntary return as long as this person is not a victim of trafficking. Children from Central American countries are quickly transferred by the Border Patrol into the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They are then released into the custody of a relative or family friend. The 10 percent or so that cannot locate a relative are placed into foster care. Currently, the average wait in ORR custody is 35 days.  With existing children’s shelters at capacity, military installations are housing many of these children during this wait.
As they are released to a relative, the children are put into removal proceedings.  This involves being scheduled for immigration court in the community where they are to live. At this time, the average wait before their court date is 18 months.  60 to 90 percent of unaccompanied children are eligible for immigration relief, allowing them to remain in the United States legally. Those granted relief are typically given asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status (for children who can establish in a state juvenile court that they were abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents), or a U or T visa (for children who were victims of certain crimes or human trafficking).
How is JFON addressing this issue?
JFON’s legal expertise and national infrastructure places it in a unique position to respond to this current crisis both in the short-term and the long-term.  Our staff attorney at JFON Austin has extensive experience in SIJ cases and relationships with providers in Texas, where we plan to collaborate.  National Justice For Our Neighbors is currently finalizing ways to assist with immediate legal needs within shelters where minors are housed. To address the longer-term need, NFJON is actively pursuing funding to build the network’s capacity to undertake Special Immigrant Juvenile cases for these unaccompanied minors. We will keep you updated as plans progress!
More information on this issue is located here on our website.
The information for this article was compiled from Migration Policy Institute, specifically the June 13, 2014 articleand the June 25, 2014 telebriefing