Photo courtesy of Crystal Fernandez

West Coast Mennonite Central Committee partnered with Bridging Cultures to host a workshop that provided helpful information on current immigration laws and immigration documentation services to undocumented families in the Canby, Oregon community.   

Canby, Ore., — Many undocumented people struggle to find the resources and information they need to begin the overwhelming and often intimidating process of obtaining their U.S citizenship.  A three-day intensive consultation workshop offered helpful legal information to undocumented families in the Canby community.  By the end of the workshop, many of the participants left feeling hopeful and optimistic that their dreams of U.S citizenship can be achieved.                                                              
West Coast Mennonite Central Committee (WCMCC) Immigration and Documentation Program is branching out within the West Coast region to provide immigration documentation services and education about the current laws regarding immigration issues.  WCMCC partnered with Bridging Cultures, a non-profit organization seeking to bridge culture divides through mutually transformative relationships in the Canby community, in hosting the workshop.                                                                                  
Thanks to the work of WCMCC and Bridging Cultures, over 65 people who attended the Friday evening presentation now have the information they need about current immigration laws and programs available.  26 participants received a personal legal consultation that provided information about the application process for legal residency. Now many of these participants will begin their journey towards U.S. citizenship.            

One women who had been to other similar legal workshops was impressed the event.  “These women are great.  They explained things so clearly and my people can understand them,” she explained                                                                                       
For nearly 20 years, the WCMCC Immigration and Documentation Program has provided immigration documentation services to the Reedley community in California. In Upland, the extension office also provides assistance with humanitarian visas and family-based immigration cases for the Southern California area.   The program is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals.     
Charlie Gingerich, founder of Bridging Cultures, is thankful for the partnership with WCMCC Immigration and Documentation Program.  “I would like to thank WCMCC’s for supporting our work here in Oregon. It is good for us to know that there are others who cheer us on and keep us in their prayers. It is also a witness to our community that God cares for them.”                                                                                                          
WCMCC Immigration and Documentation Program will continue to find opportunities to serve the West Coast region by providing immigration services to those in need.        

"WCMCC's immigration program is dedicated to keeping families together by providing effective legal assistance. We are grateful to our dedicated staff who bring hope and encouragement to families as they navigate the immigration laws of this country," said Nate Yoder, Executive Director of WCMCC.