Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska (JFON-NE), a metro Omaha-based nonprofit, is a chapter of National Justice For Our Neighbors, a network of 14 state chapters offering more than 35 legal clinics for immigration services. All JFON projects across the country are staffed by local full-time, paid attorneys.
The foundation of our work is to provide immigration legal services in a wide, genuine, and compassionate sense—welcoming and helping immigrants who are often scared and confused by the systems and ways of the United States, and with no other sources of immigration legal assistance because of their low income.
Our attorneys provide free, professional legal services to low-income immigrants in weekly consultations and monthly legal clinics held at host partner locations. Our attorneys and staff also offer presentations on immigration issues to the community as well as opportunities to advocate for immigrant rights.
JFON-NE is a ministry of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Great Plains United Methodist Conference. Our legal clinic network extends support and a welcome hand to marginalized immigrants living in the shadows among us. JFON-NE operates with volunteer support from the public as well as various religious denominations. Funding is provided by the Great Plains United Methodist Conference and a variety of local and regional foundations.
Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska is a nonprofit organization welcoming immigrants into our communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.
The National JFON network was started by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in 1999 as a response to the passage of one of the harshest immigration laws in history in 1996. Later it also focused on the stricter laws passed in the aftermath of 9/11.
In January 2000, Justice for Our Neighbors legal clinics were begun by churches in Omaha, Sioux City, and Des Moines with support from the Nebraska and Iowa Conferences. Attorneys from JFON in Washington DC flew in once a month to supervise the clinics and advise the clients. Volunteers coordinated the clinics and conducted the interviews.
In 2001, the two conferences financially supported the three sites in hiring a local attorney who was also a Church and Community Worker. This CCW/attorney was located in Omaha and drove to Sioux City and Des Moines twice a month for clinics and follow-up appointments with the clients. As the ministry continued to expand, Nebraska and Iowa each became separate JFON regions with their own attorneys.
In November of 2006, JFON-Nebraska (JFON-NE) became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In the spring of 2012, National Justice For Our Neighbors (NJFON) became a separate entity from UMCOR and the General Board of Global Ministries; however, the connection remains strong.