Posted by John Ester on Aug 20, 2019
Alline Beutler is the Site Manager for the Traverse City office of Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), a network providing free legal and other services to immigrants and refugees.
JFON is a national program established in 1999 by the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  The first Michigan office was set up in Grand Rapids 15 years ago. A regional office was established in Traverse City in 2015.  It has both a Site Manager and a full-time attorney on its payroll.
Alline became aware of the difficulties faced by immigrants when her brother married a woman from China.  Even though both were highly educated, it took 15 months to acquire appropriate status in Michigan.
The Traverse City office has seen its clientele grow from 40 clients in 2015 to more than 100 to date in 2019. This has included DACA  individuals as well as people already here wishing to bring in family members.  The JFON attorney reviews available options with all clients--free advice they can rely on.
JFON is funded primarily by individual donors, although the organization also has received grants from Rotary Charities and from churches.