Justice For Our Neighbors is a network of legal clinics based in United Methodist churches around the country. Our goal is to provide hospitality and compassion to low-income immigrants through immigration legal services, advocacy, and education.
Founded in 1999 by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Justice For Our Neighbors offers a way for church members to walk alongside immigrants and to assist them as they come out of hiding to seek to normalize their immigration status. Through interaction with Justice For Our Neighbors, immigrants not only receive immigration counseling, they also find places to belong, ways to contribute, and individuals who care about their lives here in the United States. We are a volunteer-based model, with staff attorneys at each site working with volunteers to serve immigrants so that families can unite, women can escape domestic violence, and eligible individuals can attain work authorization and become U.S. citizens.
Justice For Our Neighbors is a network of locally funded and managed sites that operate approximately 35 church-based immigration legal clinics serving more than 3,500 low-income clients a year. The National Justice For Our Neighbors office provides support, guidance, and oversight to all the Justice For Our Neighbor sites, including:
- Assistance with the vetting and establishment of new Justice For Our Neighbor sites
- Legal mentoring and guidance to the network
- Training of volunteers who conduct client intake, provide hospitality, advocate, and much more
- Provision of administrative support and payment for necessities such as liability insurance, case management systems, and legal research tools for each site
- Sharing best practices with sites and facilitating communication so sites can learn from one another
- Sponsorship of annual gathering of sites to connect, learn, and share in the challenges and joys of serving low-income immigrants
Justice For Our Neighbors sites take on a wide range of immigration cases that reunite families after years of separation, help immigrant women suffering domestic violence to live in the United States safely and permanently without dependence on an abuser, enable eligible immigrants to attain authorization to work, and much more. The Justice For Our Neighbors network also leads immigrant communities to better understand their rights and equip faith communities to respond quickly to emerging ministry opportunities created by changes in immigration policy or practice.
Justice For Our Neighbors has had a tremendous impact on both the lives of the immigrants it serves, and on the lives of the people who have made this work their ministry. Churches and communities have been brought together and strengthened. We seek to further the mission of United Methodist annual conferences and local congregations as they respond to the needs of the immigrants in their midst.