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"the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." - MLK 

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James Place Ministries' Aid to Immigrants

April 06, 2023
By Sister Christi Ann Laudolff

Sister Christi Ann Laudolff talked with Kate Archer Kent on Wisconsin Public Radio on the morning of May 2, 2023 to share insights about her work and what inspires her to do it. You can listen to the interview here:

photo of sign at James Place

In the Epistle of St. James, there is a line that says it doesn’t do much good to say to someone, “Goodbye and good luck; keep warm and well fed,” if you do nothing to help the person. This is a foundation of the James Place Ministries of the Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI. One of the James Place ministries is the James Place Immigration Services with offices in Waukesha and the south side of Milwaukee.

When I arrived in Milwaukee searching for a volunteer ministry, I happened upon James Place through an online volunteer site. I called and much to my surprise and relief, people at James Place were doing what I had done at We Are One Family in Bisbee, Arizona. In both places, we provide people with immigration resources at an affordable rate for the poor.

James Place in Waukesha meets many DACA people who are renewing their status until a permanent solution is legislated by congress. In Milwaukee, our main service is to refugees of Afghanistan, Syria, Myanmar, (formerly Burma), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many other agencies have helped with the resettlement of the refugees and their families. After one year in the United States, the refugees can apply for lawful permanent residence. Four years later, if they meet the civics, history, and language requirements, they can apply for naturalization and become citizens here.  

As of January 6, people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela can apply for a two year period of parole in the United States, due to upheaval in their own countries. Many of these people have also graced our office.

When people come to James Place, our mission is to build a relationship with them and to be a presence of Christ to the people. Hopefully, our presence and demeanor will preach more forcefully than anything we say.

There may be immigrants or refugees in your locale who need a variety of services. Check with your local service agencies and churches to find ways that you may be able to help people at a very vulnerable time in their lives.

Invitation Only