Helping families toward citizenship
There are multiple instances in scripture leading us to protect immigrants, one of those being Exodus 22:21: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Indeed, the Holy Family was led to flee their native land seeking sanctuary when Herod was seeking the life of the infant Jesus.
According to the Pew Research Center, there were 4.5 million US-born children under 18 living with undocumented parents in 2012. Unfortunately, immigration law is a complex matter, and what is in the best interest of each individual differs.
Some communities and some agencies, such as Faith in the Valley, have established Legal Defense Funds. Contribution to these funds ensures that undocumented persons and legal immigrants have access to legal advice, either from an attorney specializing in immigration or from an individual who is accredited through the Office of Legal Access Programs to assist individuals with the citizenship process. Without a trained immigration advisory or qualified immigration attorney, well-intended help can result in adverse consequences for those seeking citizenship.
An accredited immigration advisor will conduct a thorough assessment to determine first, whether the individual is likely to qualify for citizenship, and secondly, what steps are appropriate. Below is a listing of agencies that may offer accredited immigration assistance: