National Justice for Our Neighbors supports a network of immigration legal clinics across the country. At these clinics, staff attorneys and teams of volunteers provide in-depth immigration legal assistance to low-income immigrants and their families.
These are among our most common case types:
Advice and Counsel: JFON attorneys meet with clients to discuss how the complex U.S. immigration laws affect them. If a client is eligible for relief, the attorney will so advise. However, if a client learns that he is not eligible to obtain legal status, having this information helps protect him from immigration fraud. Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous attorneys or notarios who prey on uninformed immigrants, charging them exorbitant fees in exchange for promises of visas which never materialize.
Asylum: Men, women and children flee their country of origin for many reasons, including persecution because of their race, religion, political ideology, or gender. JFON attorneys represent such asylum-seekers to ensure that they will not be forced to return to a country where they will face persecution, torture or death.
Citizenship: Naturalization is the process by which a lawful permanent resident of the United States (green card holder) applies for citizenship. It is an expensive and rigorous process through which JFON attorneys expertly guide clients. Our attorneys provide study guides for the English and U.S. civics tests. They also help prepare clients for their interview.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): Immigrants who entered the U.S. as children and have met various requirements, including graduating from a U.S. high school, may apply for a two-year work permit. When and if the case is approved, the government will “defer action,” postponing the immigrant’s deportation. Approved DACAs are eligible to apply for social security numbers and driver’s licenses in every state of the union.
Deportation Defense: These time-consuming and work-intensive court cases involve defending immigrants from deportation. One such defense is Cancellation of Removal, which requires the immigrant to prove that he has been living in the U.S. for at least 10 years, has good moral character and that his U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child would suffer extreme hardship if he were to be deported.
Family Petition: This is a two-step process, first requiring the family member with legal status to file a petition for his immigrant family member. Only spouses, parents, or adult children can apply on behalf of certain family members. Once the Family Petition is approved, the client may then apply for an immigrant visa or green card.
Refugee Adjustment of Status (also called Refugee Green Card): Refugees who have been in the United States for at least one year are eligible to apply for a green card. JFON attorneys assist them with this process. Our clinic volunteers enjoy hosting refugee green card clinics to serve a large number of our refugee neighbors efficiently and effectively. Refugees are granted refugee status abroad after proving that they fear persecution on the same grounds as asylees.
SIJ (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status): This is a form of relief for unaccompanied immigrant children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by one or both of their parents. This multi-step case requires up to four distinct proceedings: 1) the family court case, where the child must prove that she has been abused, neglected or abandoned, 2) filing the SIJ petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, 3) filing for the Immigrant Visa or Green Card once the SIJ has been approved, and 4) removal defense in Immigration Court.
U Visa: The U Visa was created by Congress to encourage undocumented victims of serious crimes (e.g., domestic violence, rape and incest) to come forward to report crimes without the fear of deportation. Among other tasks, JFON attorneys walk these vulnerable victims through the process of securing a “law enforcement certification” to prove that the victim was helpful to the police.
VAWA (Violence Against Women Act): Under VAWA, an abused spouse, parent or child of a U.S. citizen or green card holder may apply for a green card without the abuser’s knowledge, which allows the victim to seek both safety and lawful status independently from the abuser.