Dear Friends & Family,
Shalom -- the Hebrew word for peace and wholeness. As we enter into the season of Advent, a season of waiting and hope in the four weeks preceding Christmas, shalom is what we long for. Shalom for our nation. Our immigrant communities. Our cities. Our churches. We choose mercy over hate. Love over fear. We join and stand in solidarity with our immigrant clients, families, friends, and neighbors. We will continue to advocate for immigrants in our communities. Together, we press forward.
Join us in proclaiming Jubilee -- for justice and shalom.
After launching Jubilee nearly a year ago, we have had the privilege of providing direct immigration legal services to over 165 individuals. We provided full-scope legal representation in about 45% of the cases we opened this year. Full-scope legal representation is when a lawyer represents a client in his/her entire legal case rather than only part of it. The remaining 55% received 1-2 hour individual consultations or brief legal services. We have also partnered with over 30 community organizations and churches.
We have had the privilege of listening to and learning from our clients’ stories of struggle and resilience. Below are a couple of their stories (with the names and details changed to protect their identity).
Rosa is a single mom from rural El Salvador. Her job didn’t pay enough to cover her son’s medical bills after he broke his arm. She fell into debt. Then she met Juan, a rich man who promised her financial security. He offered to have her come live with him. Although she barely knew him, she finally gave in, relying on his promise that her children would be provided for and able to join her soon. Upon arriving at Juan’s big house, she became his prisoner. He took away her cell phone and locked her inside his house. He demanded that she cook all his meals. She found weapons under the bed. He threatened to kill her if she left him. One time he stuck his gun in her mouth. He repeatedly beat her and sexually assaulted her during her 3-month imprisonment. When she finally escaped, she and her youngest son fled El Salvador, leaving behind her other two children in her mother’s care. She knew that if Juan found her, he would kill her. Rosa is now in deportation proceedings. Jubilee is representing Rosa in her asylum case, which will be heard by an immigration judge in 2017.
Altan came to the United States from Mongolia to attend college. One night, while he was working as a cashier at a gas station convenience store, he was held up at gunpoint. Altan thought he would be killed if he didn’t hand over all the money in the cash register. After the perpetrator fled with the money, Altan immediately called 911. Altan was very shaken up by the robbery. He started having nightmares and couldn’t sleep. Little sounds would frighten him. He quit his job because he was scared of being held up again. He dropped out of school because he couldn’t concentrate and fell into depression. Most days, he would rather stay home and be alone than be around other people. Jubilee is representing Altan in his U visa case. Congress created the U visa to encourage immigrants to cooperate with the police by reporting violent crimes in their communities. With a U visa, Altan would obtain a work permit and be eligible to apply for a green card in the future.
Jubilee serves clients with diverse needs, backgrounds and languages.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. The work we do at Jubilee is an absolute privilege. As we enter into our second year, we will continue to use our legal training and resources to advocate for marginalized and vulnerable immigrants. Please consider giving an ongoing or end-of-year gift to Jubilee. Your gift would allow immigrants in underserved communities to access excellent, affordable and compassionate legal representation.
Please tell your friends and family about Jubilee! We would love to hear from you.