Welcoming & Integrating Immigrants & Refugees

The Migrant Support Center seeks to “welcome the stranger” through direct services, education, and advocacy on behalf of the immigrants in our state.

Migrant Support Center

The Migrant Support Center provides direct legal representation, community education, and advocacy for immigrants living within the Diocese of Jackson. Some of our services include:

Direct Legal Representation

  • Representation in removal (formerly known as deportation) proceedings for families and unaccompanied children
  • Asylum (affirmative and defensive) for victims of persecution based on personal characteristics such as race, religion, political opinion, and gender
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for abused, neglected, and abandoned children
  • Appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Fifth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits.
  • U Visas, T Visas, and Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) representation for survivors of crimes and human trafficking
  • Family-based petitions
  • Citizenship

Community Education and Advocacy

  • “Know your rights” informational sessions for the immigrant community
  • Screening events to determine eligibility for services
  • Pro bono partnerships with area attorneys and firms

We do not deny services because of an inability to pay.

We are located at 850 E. River Pl., Ste. 300; Jackson, MS 39202. Our Jackson office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We also have a satellite office in Northeast Mississippi with varied hours. Meetings with our attorneys are by appointment only. To schedule a consultation for our Jackson or NE Mississippi office, please call 601-948-2635. Our consultation fee is $60.

Questions?

Vardaman Family Life Center

The Vardaman Family Life Center is located in Vardaman, MS, a small town in NE Mississippi. The mission of the Vardaman Family Life Center is to be a welcoming presence – showing dignity for all people, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation and to provide support to vulnerable populations. The primary service area of the Center is Calhoun County and neighboring communities. Services are provided in both Spanish and English to ensure inclusion of the immigrant population in the area.

Embracing the belief that it is more important to affirm people’s potential than to focus on their limitations, our services focus on strengthening and empowering individuals and families with resources and support that will help them overcome barriers they face in daily life.

Program areas:

  • Parent enrichment session that include topics for nutritional awareness, financial empowerment and health concerns
  • Basic ESL classes
  • GED classes
  • General case management support and community referral services
  • Referral services for immigration legal services through Catholic Charities Migrant Support Center
  • Special projects including Summer children’s camp, National Migration Week activities, cultural awareness events
  • Emergency Assistance (as funding is available)

Community Partnerships:

  • A dedicated Advisory Board comprised of a diverse group of individuals that reflect the community population
  • Catholic parishes of Deanery 5, Diocese of Jackson
  • Catholic Charities Migrant Support Center
  • McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement – University of Mississippi
  • MS Valley State University
  • Communicare
  • CHANGE Amory
  • City of Vardaman

Office Hours:
Tues and Thur: 10am to 8pm
Wed: 10am to 4pm
Closed Mondays and Fridays

Map

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Danna Johnson, Program Specialist
Direct: 662-682-9992
   Email

210 N. Main Street (P.O. Box 328 for mail)
Vardaman, MS 38878

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

The URM program ensures that eligible unaccompanied minor populations receive the full range of assistance, care and services available to all foster children in the state by establishing a legal authority to act in place of the child’s unavailable parent(s). Our programs encourage reunification of children with their parents or other appropriate adult relatives through family tracing and coordination with local refugee resettlement agencies. However, if reunification is not possible, each program works to design a case specific permanency plan for each minor or youth in care.

Additional services we provide include:

  • Indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities
  • Intensive case management by social workers
  • Independent living skills training
  • Educational supports including educational training vouchers (ETVs)
  • English language training
  • Career/college counseling and training
  • Mental health services
  • Assistance adjusting immigration status
  • Cultural activities
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Support for social integration
  • Cultural and religious preservation
  • Refugee children who enter the U.S. with family but experience a family breakdown may be eligible to participate in the URM program as well. ORR’s State Letters on reclassification to URM status provide the standards used to determine if such a child may access the program.

Children eligible for the URM Program are under age 18, are unaccompanied, and are:

  • Refugees
  • Entrants
  • Asylees
  • Victims of Trafficking
  • Certain minors with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • U visa holders
  • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)Visit disclaimer page − help ORR with the unaccompanied refugee minor program.

For more information, please contact:
Jacqueline Haynes, Program Director
Direct: 601-982-8040
   Email