Last year, Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska helped more than 1,000 people from 24 countries.
Now Trinity United Methodist Church is bringing the program to their Grand Island neighbors so they can help even more immigrants.
JFON-NE Legal Director Charles Ellison says for immigrants who need legal help – whether it’s with residency, citizenship, or other issues – just knowing where to start can be tough. He says that’s where JFON’s free assistance comes in.
“They’ve entered as refugees and they need to do various additional steps to get lawful permanent resident status and then get on the path to citizenship - that might be one category of people that we would help,” says Ellison.
Abraham Millawa went through that very process as a refugee from South Sudan. Now as a U.S. citizen, he’s training to volunteer at JFON immigration clinics starting at Trinity.
“They don’t get it, you know, this is kind of hard for them and they have dedicated their life to serve this country, they’re working hard, supporting their country, I think it’s a good thing to give them citizenship,” says Millawa, who plans to help with translating.
Church coordinators say that in their diverse neighborhood they see a great need for more immigration legal help.
“There’s so much fear, so much fear, and hopefully this will help some of the people that are dealing with a lot of fear be able to come to a safe place and work with attorneys,” says co-coordinator Debra Brummund.
“It’s a learning experience for all of us, all of folks that are here [training] are new to this and want to be there to provide help,” says co-coordinator Christy Horky.
The monthly clinics at Trinity will start at the end of May. People who need help need to call and make an appointment first.
Trinity United Methodist Church 511 N Elm, Grand Island, NE 68801 308-382-1953