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Appleseed Good Apple Award (Seeds of Justice)
On Thursday October 10, 2013, Justice For Our Neighbors - Nebraska was recognized with the Seeds of Justice Award for outstanding public interest legal work at the 2013 Good Apple Awards hosted by NE Appleseed.JFON-NE was honored because of their work providing high quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy for low-income immigrant families and individuals in Nebraska and western Iowa. JFON-NE Executive Director Emiliano Lerda accepted the award on behalf of his organization. Video Link: http://vimeo.com/76707254
Women's Fund of Omaha Award
Justice for Our Neighbors-NE was one of 13 nonprofit agencies who were presented with grants this year during the Women’s Fund of Omaha Fall Luncheon. Grants this year totaled $133,000 and this year’s grants recognize agencies for innovative programs that will make a substantial impact on local women and girls in areas Women’s Fund research has identified as priorities – economic self-sufficiency, domestic violence ... read more.
Heartland Latino Leadership Conference
Friday November 15, 2013, Justice for Our Neighbors-NE was awarded the Government Award by the Heartland Latino Leadership Conference. This award seeks to recognize all individuals, or organizations whose service and leadership achievements, commitment to excellent, and contributions to their communities have positively impacted the community at large.
Omaha Remembers JFK
Community Representatives in Omaha celebrated the life of the country's 35th President Friday November 22, 2013 at Dundee Presbyterian Church. The memorial for President John F. Kennedy took place at noon, exactly 50 years to the minute of his death in 1963.
Client Success Story
Julio was born in a small village in Guatemala in the 1950s. When he was a young man, the civil war in his country intensified and he was eventually forced to join the Civil Patrols in the fight against the guerrilla. This placed his life in extreme danger, and he eventually was forced to flee Guatemala in the early 1990s. Shortly after his arrival in the U.S., he filed for asylum using a notario. However, like so many other Guatemalans, he missed a crucial dead-line which would have made his path to resi-dency much easier, and thus his prospects were limited.
The U.S. government agency charged with ad-judicating asylum claims was plagued with backlogs in processing these applications and thus he did not receive his asylum interview until 2007, 15 years after he filed. At the time of the interview, the government denied his application, reasoning that during the 15 years that they made him wait for his “day in court,” conditions had improved in Guatemala and the government concluded that he no longer qual-ified for asylum. Consequently, they started the process of seeking his deportation. At this point, Julio came to Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska for help. While in removal proceed-ings, he met and married his wife, who was born in the U.S. Additionally, his brother, a U.S. citizen had filed a petition for him in 2000, and this provided him with an exception to the normal rule that would bar his adjust-ment of status because of his manner of entry.
JFON-NE assisted Julio and his wife with a family based petition and requested that his removal proceedings be terminated. This cleared the path for him to obtain his first in-terview with USCIS last month. At that inter-view, we were extremely happy to learn that after twenty years of living in the U.S., working in the U.S., and paying taxes, Julio’s hard jour-ney had finally concluded. He was granted Lawful Permanent Residence status. Julio, his family, knowing that they no longer need to fear being separated.
From the desk of Charles Shane Ellison, Regional Attorney