Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), Immigration Task Force, DACA Scholarship Established

October 07, 2014

Justice for Our Neighbors-Bay Area Task Force (JFON-BAIT) was established in 2009 to help immigrants learn their rights and access laws.  It is a fee based legal clinic to help low income immigrants with their documents.  Sharron Williams is the lawyer.  There are three locations:  San Francisco (Temple UMC), San Mateo (Hillsdale UMC), and Sacramento (Centennial UMC).  Each location services from 9 to 20 immigrants in the area each month. The Sacramento Clinic will be celebrating its first anniversary this month.
JFON-BAIT would like to expand this ministry to other parts of the California-Nevada Conference.  They have had some spot clinics in Stockton, Davis, Sacramento, and one coming up in San Jose.  They would like to hire a part time lawyer to help Williams with her work.  Eventually, they would like to include the Central Valley as one of the regular clinic locales.  They are working with the Hispanic Ministry Committee to open these doors and provide help in the Central Valley. Several clients emanating from Central Californian communities have already sought help from the San Francisco and Sacramento clinics.
Sharron Williams is available to speak at churches and organizational meetings to share the latest information surrounding the Immigration Reform movement, as well as, the truth about the “Unaccompanied Children Crisis.” Williams has first-hand experience with outreach to the UAC at the Texas border and in Northern California.  For more information, contact Belinda Robinson, Regional Executive Director of JFON-BAIT by calling (415) 586-1444, extension 205, or email to the address below.
JFON-BAIT is entirely funded by donations and grants.  To make donations either as an individual, or as a church, or UMW group send donations to Paula O’Connell, JFON-BAIT, c/o Temple UMC, 65 Beverly St., San Francisco, CA. 94132.  Donations as an individual before the end of 2014, JFON-BAIT will be matched up to $5,000 by National JFON. For more information about JFON-BAIT visit www.jfonbait.org, or e-mail bait@tumcpeace.org
In addition to JFON-BAIT, the Immigration Task Force of the California-Nevada Conference does advocacy work with California Immigration Policy Center (CIPC) and with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE).  Both of these organizations help with training and updates for action on immigration issues.  There is a movement to reintroduce the Sanctuary Movement for immigrants who are headed for deportation.  There will be a workshop at St. John`s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave., Berkeley, CA on October 14, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
In 2013, at Annual Conference, after Becky Campos spoke at the luncheon an offering was taken to establish a scholarship for a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students.  Donations to this fund by sent to Diane Knudsen in the Annual Conference Office, and marking it "DACA Scholarship Fund." 
The DACA scholarship guidelines are as follows and the deadline date is May 1, 2015:
          1.  Must be active in a United Methodist Church in the Cal-Nevada Annual Conference
          2.  G.P.A. 3.0 or higher
          3.  A Graduating Senior or already in college majoring in Immigration Issues, International Studies, Immigration Law, or related field.
          4. A 1-page essay on future plans
          5. Volunteer work
          6. Proof of acceptance to an accredited college
          7.  3 recommendation letters from non-relatives
Send to:  Linda Kuruhara, Chairperson of the Immigration Task Force, 788 Wagon Wheel Lane, Lincoln, CA. 95648