News

Love conquers the border

David and Blanca met the summer they were both 15. His family spent the summer in Mexico in the town where Blanca lived. It was an ideal summer romance, complete with walks on the beach and horseback riding in the mountains. They stayed in touch for a short while, but life took them in other directions.

Blanca married and had two children, living an upper-middle-class life in Mexico. Meanwhile David joined the US Army. He served with distinction, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, retiring due to medical issues in 2007. David laughs when he talks about the aimless years after the Army, when he lived wherever he could find the best surfing. His drifting led him to Mexico, where friends re-introduced him to Blanca, now divorced with two children. Their teenage summer romance rekindled!

After David moved to Dallas he and Blanca continued their now-long-distance romance for three years. On Valentine’s Day 2016 David surprised Blanca by proposing. JFON became a part of this love story when David asked for help petitioning for his new wife and step-children to receive their green cards. After large amounts of paperwork, it is a pleasure to report that David and Blanca will be going to the United States Customs and Immigration Service for their interview any day now. They will have no trouble proving the validity of their marriage, with a courtship that began so long ago. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Be a Champion for Justice – Oct 22 Fundraiser!

Join us on Sunday, October 22nd from 4-7 p.m. at the Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora for our 6th Annual NIJFON fundraiser.  Help us honor this year’s Champions for Justice Awardees: the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and immigration attorney/JFON board member Sara Dady and celebrate JFON’s work from the last year.

Sunday, Oct. 22
4 – 7 pm
Two Brothers Roundhouse
205 N Broadway Ave
Aurora

For information on tickets and sponsorships, please click here

To download an order form to mail in, please click Sponsor-ticket order form

The Illusion of Inclusion: The many broken promises made to Haitian Refugees

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Article by Mannis Wesley III

Per the United Nations Human High Commissioner for Refugee Rights  (UNHCR), there are 63.5 million people (1 out of 113 people) who are refugees worldwide.  While some refugees receive the aid and service they need to turn their lives around, other refugees are not so fortunate.  Some refugees get denied services based on racial ethnicity, political interests, and economic status. The Haitian refugee crisis depicts this unfortunate circumstance. Studies have shown that Haitian refugees have experienced systematic and physical abuse for years without many repercussions. Agencies have failed to abide the policies of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. This article will explore the plight of Haitian refugees in Brazil and in the United States and the many fallacies of their policies that are suppose to serve in the best interest of ALL Refugees but don’t. Continue reading “The Illusion of Inclusion: The many broken promises made to Haitian Refugees”

The African Refugee Crisis at a Glance

Article by Mannis Wesley III

According to the Center for Preventive Actions (CPA), there are currently 28 ongoing global conflicts around the world.  It can be said that only a few of these conflicts are being showcased by media outlets whether it’s due to small westernized interests or propaganda reasons. To date, Africa is the most conflicted continent in the world with thousands of victims dying each year, which in return leaves thousands of refugees vulnerable without the basic social entities needed to survive. The most developed country in Africa; South Africa; has portrayed decades of xenophobia and systematic abuse against African refugees.  As the most liberal African democracy, South Africa is a mecca for refugees. It receives the most asylum applications in Africa and many are political refugees from countries where violence and anti US rhetoric is rampant. This has placed a strain on SA’s resources and there are credible fears that refugees fail to integrate socially, politically and economically. Worst, there are instances of violence, police bribery, and unfair and inhumane treatment of refugees at the governmental agencies that are supposed to assist them. Continue reading “The African Refugee Crisis at a Glance”