July 5, 2011; Source: ValleyCentral.com | Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), a national network of free legal clinics held at local United Methodist Church congregations is expanding its operations to Brownsville, Texas located right at the U.S.-Mexico border.

JFON provides professional legal services to immigrants “who need a helping hand to navigate the maze of rules and laws that affect their lives in the United States.” Undocumented immigrants like “Luis” avails of JFON’s assistance. He has lived in the U.S. for 11 years and has sought ways to gain legal status with no success.

Carole Lahti, JFON’s regional coordinator said, “The need is so great along the border here that we’re going to start operating a clinic in Brownsville.”

Immigrant demand for legal aid will no doubt increase not only along the border but throughout the country as more states pass immigration laws designed to weed out and expel undocumented immigrants. A good number of the estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants as well as those mistaken for undocumented newcomers will require professional counsel and representation.— Erwin de Leon