The Justice for Our Neighbors Immigration Clinic, Inc. opened in downtown Fayetteville in November of last year aiming to provide low-cost legal aid to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers while providing education and advocacy of the immigration system in the U.S.
Their mission is to meet the needs of our neighbors in a complex and ever-changing U.S. immigration system, said Oscar Hernandez, Executive Director for Fayetteville JFON.
Fayetteville JFON was born as a result of a forum on immigration in 2018 at St. Andrews Methodist Church.
“I saw that children were being ripped away from their parents that really bothered me, so I wanted to raise awareness about how God cares about immigrants and foreigners,” Scott Foster, pastor at St. Andrews Methodist Church, said. “I just wanted to have a forum about that and connect to our world through education.”
Foster, who serves as the fundraising chair for Fayetteville JFON said they received funding from the United Methodist Church to reach out to those who are marginalized like immigrants often are.
The immigration clinic started seeing clients as of Dec. 1 and had 100 to 200 people reach out for help.
“There is a great need for low-cost immigration services in the area,” Hernandez said. “North Carolina itself has a growing immigrant population and more options are needed in the Sandhills region and rural areas.”
The clinic’s team includes a full-time attorney, administrative assistant, executive director, intern, volunteers and a board of directors.
Services are offered at low-cost to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers of all faiths, backgrounds and identities and fees are based on income. Each case is assessed individually, and the clinic offers services like DACA, Temporary Protected Status VAWA, U and T Visa, family reunification, citizenship and permanent residency.
Foster said they hope to grow as they receive more funds and are currently hiring for a Grant Writer.
National JFON located outside of Washington D.C. supports 18 JFON sites with about 50 clinics across the U.S.
“We welcome volunteers and interns who are excited and know more about the immigration legal system and be part of our team,” Hernandez said. “Immigrants make this country great, join us in our mission to serve our immigrant neighbors.”
The Fayetteville JFON is located in the Self Help building at 100 Hay St., Suite 300. For more information on their services, call 910-441-3753 Monday to Thursday noon to 4 p.m. or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate visit, https://fayettevillejfon.kindful.com/