The Free Methodist Church – USA is joining 14 other evangelical denominations to form the Immigration Alliance — a national effort that equips local churches to provide legal services to under-resourced immigrants.
“There is clearly a deep need and a demand for these services,” FMCUSA Chief Operating Officer Larry Roberts said. “Because these services are of such high importance to those who need them, this is a powerful opportunity to bless those immigrants amongst us and introduce them to our churches and our Savior through the relationships that can be built in this process.”
The Immigration Alliance launched Oct. 21 as a coalition of evangelical denominations representing more than 28,500 congregations. The alliance is committed to multiplying the number of sites across the country providing low-cost, high-quality immigrant legal services over the next three years.
With more than 22 million foreign-born non-citizens in the United States — and only 12,000 private immigration attorneys and 2,800 nonprofit immigration attorneys and accredited staff in the United States — the need for trustworthy, authorized legal services has never been greater.
“I think this will make our church look more like heaven,” said Moises Bejarano, the senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Chino, California, and a member of the FMCUSA Board of Administration. “This is going to be able to provide a holistic program — not just immigration — that will bring a different flavor to our churches.”
Free Methodist churches’ legal sites will provide immigrants with services including low-cost legal counsel on immigration-related matters, support determining eligibility for benefits, and assistance in preparing applications for legal immigration status. The Immigration Alliance will assist these church-based sites through a rigorous recognition process with the federal Board of Immigration Appeals.
“Jesus commands us, of course, to make disciples of every nation,” Roberts said, “but with immigration, every nation is coming to us.”
Go to fmchr.ch/fmcusaimmigration for expanded coverage.
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