Just Neighbors Annual Report


Picture of Executive Director Erin McKenney




Last year, Just Neighbors saw a record number of lives changed by the work of our attorneys, staff, and volunteers; we helped the most families last year than any other year in our 26 year history! We were only able to do that because of YOUR financial support. Coming out of the pandemic, there were many challenges, including extremely high backlogs of case processing by USCIS and immigration courts, meaning adjudication of cases took much longer than usual. And while so much attention is focused on the border, much less is paid to the increasing number of immigrants who are seeking legal services.

The Washington Metropolitan area is the largest per capita resettlement area for unaccompanied minor children and Afghan refugees, most of whom have pathways to documentation, but require very complicated and time-consuming casework. As a result, our requests for service were up by 11% and continue to rise.

While we have continued to help more and more immigrants, the demand far outweighs our capacity to serve. We continue to seek additional funding to support our ongoing efforts and increasing need.

Also coming out of the pandemic, we have been rebuilding our volunteer program, including legal clinics, community outreach, volunteer attorneys and front-office support. More clients mean more need for document translation and interpretation, including languages beyond Spanish (Dari, Pashtu, Haitian Creole and indigenous Mayan languages). Because of our incredible volunteers, we have been able to minimize the costs of these services.

We actively advocated for issues that affect immigrants in our community on the federal, state, and local levels, pushing congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act (so far unsuccessful), supporting the establishment and/or renewal of Temporary Protected Status and championing humane border policies.

Meanwhile, we also made reforms internally by examining our own salary equity practices. With the significant growth over the last 5 years, we needed to address issues like living wages, equity across job types, recognition of language capabilities, and more. After a several month long process, we implemented phase 1 of a two year pay restructure, as well as non-negotiable salary structure for new hires based on actual skills and experience.

As we look ahead at 2023, we are working to increase our capacity to serve more unaccompanied minor children, bolster our work in the rural footprint, and build more support for our work in Maryland.

We are inspired by the resilience of our clients, the commitment of our volunteers, and the generosity of our donors. We are blessed with a dedicated, passionate, outstanding staff. We look forward to helping many more of our immigrant neighbors thrive.

We are grateful for your support and look forward to another strong year.


Our Greatest Accomplishments

Relaunched Immigration Legal Clinics

Legal clinics were relaunched in Annandale and new clinics were held in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Warrenton, Winchester and Waynesboro to meet clients where they are and meet the demand for advice and counsel clinics for Afghan refugees and Cameroonians seeking TPS.

Launched a Client Advocacy Program

We implemented a new Client Advocate position to provide support for Just Neighbors' many clients who are survivors of domestic violence. Clients now have access to counseling in Spanish, as well as case-work to help with additional needs like food, shelter, obtaining drivers licenses, and more.

Practiced Racial and Salary Equity

Just Neighbors’ Racial Equity Committee continues to work to advance racial equity in all aspects of our work, including a salary equity initiative and greater transparency for a more equitable and safe workplace.

Expanded our Youth Program

Our Legal Defense for Immigrant Children and Youth program began as a response to our region's highest number of unaccompanied minors resettling per capita in the country. Just Neighbors now has a full-time attorney dedicated to providing removal defense for minors in Virginia.


The Immigrants We Serve and Their Stories

In 2022, 2,046 immigrant families asked for our assistance. Of those, we were only able to provide immigration legal services to 25% of the people who need it. Each person and their family has a unique immigration journey, and we are proud to have assisted them along the way.

Humanitarian-Based Cases

Top 10 Countries

of Origin


El Salvador










  • Escape Violence

  • Advice and Counsel

  • Work Authorization

  • Family Reunification

  • Citizenship



By focusing on humanitarian cases, Just Neighbors staff attorneys and volunteers serve the community's most vulnerable immigrants. Our clients are:

  • Refugees and asylees
  • Survivors of domestic violence and violent crimes
  • DREAMers (immigrants brought to the U.S. as children)
  • Those issued Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to armed conflict or natural disasters in their homelands
  • Families seeking general advice about their status
  • Trafficking victims


13% live in Maryland


57% live in Northern Virginia

29% live in Rural Virginia


1% live in Washington D.C.

Success at Just Neighbors Means Success for Immigrants

Click on each photo to learn more about the stories of some of the people who took their immigration journeys with Just Neighbors in 2022.


We can spend all day telling you about Just Neighbors and how we think we're positively impacting our clients. Instead, see what they have to say about their own experiences.

I just got my own private health insurance and I can call the police if I need them. I am not walking in the street in fear anymore. I don't need to walk with my head down, I can lift my eyes and see people's faces. This means so much to me. Thank you.

Thank you so much for all your help with everything. You were a really bright light that God sent to me in a very dark time of my life. I am very thankful for you and all your hard work with me!

I owe everything I have now to Just Neighbors. at a time when I was at my lowest point and I just gave birth and had nowhere to go, they were there to start the process to help me and my immigration status in the US. Without JN I wouldn't be able to provide for my child and we would be living on the streets or worse they would have taken my child from me. 

Changed my life drastically, I'm able to work gov't jobs, about to join fire dept and becoming an EMT, able to contribute to the community, provide for my family and my future family. Because I was able to get my work permit, I was also able to get medical insurance, own my own apartment, I'm self-sufficient. Overall great service!

I'm grateful and thankful that I have Just Neighbors.

We Love Our Volunteers!

Without our volunteers, Just Neighbors would not be able to serve as many immigrant families as we do every year. The incredible generosity of our team of 178 volunteers helps to answer every single request for assistance we receive to make sure every single person leaves Just Neighbors with more resources than before. Without them, we would not have the same impact. We cannot thank them enough for their time! We truly appreciate each and every one of you!

Volunteer Attorney Hours
Volunteer Hours
Value of Volunteer Hours

How This is Made Possible

Clients at Just Neighbors are charged a single $100 consultation fee to receive immigration legal services. A private attorney would charge up to $10,000 per immigration case, with the price drastically increasing with the complexity of the case.

Regardless of who you are of what your case includes, Just Neighbors does not charge anyone more than $100. We truly wouldn't be able to do this without generous donors, foundations, faith communities, businesses, and government support.


Government Grants
Individual Donors
Faith Communities and Businesses
Client Fees



Accotink UUC

ACT for Alexandria

AILA Washington DC Chapter

Alexandria Rotary Foundation

Annandale Christian Community for Action

Annandale UWF

Arlington County

Association of American Railroads

Baltimore - Washington Conference of the UMC

Bethany UWF

Bridgewater UWF

Centreville UWF

Chevy Chase UWF

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge

Community Foundation of The Northern Shenandoah Valley

Crossroads UMC

Dumbarton UMC

Fairfax County

Fairlington UMC

Fairlington UMM

Faith Lutheran Church

First Christian Church

Gannett Foundation

Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Good Shepherd UMM

Harrisonburg District of the VAUMC

Harrisonburg District UWF

Immigration Law & Justice Network

Kaiser Permanente

Kendra Scott

Kiwanis Club of Alexandria


Loudoun County

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

Mason Hirst Foundation

Meyer Foundation

Montgomery County

Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mount Olivet UMC

MTFA Design + Preservation

Northern Piedmont Community Foundation

NOVA District Conference of the UMC

PATH Foundation

PAX Community

Paxton Memorial Trust

Presbyterian Women of the National Capital Presbytery

Prisca Circle at John Calvin Presbyterian

QMT Associates


Reisterstown UMC

Resurrection EV Lutheran Church ELCA

Shenandoah River District of the VAUMC

St. Anne's Episcopal Church

St. John Neumann Church

St. Mark Catholic Church

St. Mary of Sorrows

STRADA Education Network


The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area

The CO3 Fund

The Kresge Foundation

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Titmus Foundation

United Christian Parish

United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley

UUC of Reston

UUC of Loudoun

UUC of Rockville

Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services

Virginia Department of Social Services

Virginia Law Foundation

Virginia United Methodist Foundation

Westminster Presbyterian Church


Meet the Team

At the heart of Just Neighbors is a team of twelve board members, ten attorneys, six administrators, and one client advocate. This team has moved mountains for countless families, changing Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia for the better one immigration case at a time. We are endlessly grateful for each person's hard work, dedication, and compassion. Thank you for being a part of Just Neighbors!


Farah Ashurova

Program Development Specialist

Tori Andrea Babington

Managing Attorney of Rural Programs

Stephanie Barnes

Chief Operating Officer

Julia Birk

Senior Immigration Attorney of DC & MD

Eva Marie Carney

Senior Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Sasia Coward

Office and Volunteer Manager

Eric Dillon

Senior Development Director

Katie Fourmy

Managing Attorney of Removal Defense

Mary Elizabeth Maffei

Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Keila Martinez

Front Office Administrator and Client Advocate

Erin McKenney

Executive Director

Sarah Selim Milad

Managing Attorney of DC & MD

Ashley Pechinski

Development Coordinator

Picture of Director of Legal Services Dominique Poirier

Dominique Poirier

Director of Legal Services

Allison Square

Allison Rothschild

Immigration Attorney DC & MD

Virginia Square 2021

Virginia Ruiz

Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Cristina Square 2021

Cristina Sproul

Managing Attorney of Northern Virginia

Board of Directors

Pratibha Agarwal

Board Member

Lauren Bell

Vice Chair

Leticia Corona


Rev. Ken Hawes

Board Member

Sana Shtasel

Board Member

Rodrigo Soto Cordova

Board Member

Lisa Trangsrud


Reginald Williamson

Board Member

Anne Wilson

Board Member

Mike Wilson

Board Member

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💜 March is Womens History Month 💜

Dolores Huerta, is a trailblazing activist who has fought tirelessly for the rights of immigrants and marginalized communities. As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, she understands the struggles faced by immigrant communities, and has dedicated her life to advocating for their rights. Her work with the United Farm Workers union and the Dolores Huerta Foundation has included fighting for fair wages, healthcare, and education for all immigrants and farmworkers.

Today and everyday we celebrate her incredible contributions to our society and continue to uplift the voices of women in our fight for justice and equality.
💜 Marzo es el mes nacional de la historia de la mujer 💜

Dolores Huerta es una activista pionera quien ha luchado sin cesar por los derechos de inmigrantes y comunidades marginadas. Como una hija de inmigrantes mexicanos, ella entiende las luchas a las que enfrentan por comunidades inmigrantes, y ha dedicado su vida para defender sus derechos. Su trabajo con los Trabajadores Agrícolas Unidos y la Fundación de Dolores Huerta han incluido luchar por salarios justos, seguro medico, y educación para todos los inmigrantes y trabajadores agrícolas. 

Hoy y todos los días celebramos sus increíbles contribuciones a nuestra sociedad y seguimos elevando las voces de las mujeres en nuestra lucha por justicia y igualdad.
💧 Today is World Water Day 💧 

You might be wondering why were posting about a day that promotes water rights and water justice internationally. 

Access to clean water is a human right, and something that 1 in 10 people do not have, often due to social, economic, or environmental factors. In fact, many people are forced to leave their homes and migrate to other countries due to water rights issues, such as droughts, pollution, or privatization of water resources. 

Refugees are often faced with a lack of access to clean water as well, leaving them exposed to a higher rate of diseases and infections. These issues not only threaten the health and well-being of individuals and communities, but also have far-reaching implications.

As we celebrate World Water Day, we must remember who is impacted by a lack of clean water and stand in solidarity with them and work towards creating a more just and equitable world for all.
💧 Hoy es el día mundial del agua 💧 

Se preguntará por qué estamos publicando sobre un día que promueve los derechos del agua y justicia internacional del agua.

Acceso al agua limpia es un derecho humano, y algo que 1 de 10 personas no tienen, debido a factores sociales, económicas, o ambientales. De hecho, muchas personas se ven obligados a abandonar sus hogares y migran a otros países debido a temas de derechos al agua, como las sequías, contaminación o privatización de los recursos hídricos. Refugiados se enfrentan a menudo con una falta de acceso del agua limpia, dejándolos expuestos a una mayor tasa de enfermedades y infecciones. 

Estos problemas no solamente amenazan la salud y bienestar de individuos y comunidades, si no también tienen implicaciones de gran alance.

Celebramos el día mundial del agua, debemos recordar a quien está impactado 
por una falta del agua limpia y nos solidarizamos con ellos y trabajamos para crear 
un mundo más justo y equitativo para todos.
📢 Call for Volunteers! 📢

Just Neighbors is looking for Spanish-speaking volunteers to join our front office team! As a front office volunteer, you will:
	🌟 Answer phones
	🌟 Conduct client intakes
	🌟 Prepare immigration application documents
	🌟 Perform basic office duties
	🌟 Assist with outreach
	🌟 Help with translations

Volunteering with us is a great way to gain experience in the non-profit sector, build your skills, and make a difference in the lives of immigrant families in your community.

💙 If youre interested in joining our team and becoming a front office volunteer, please visit: http://www.justneighbors.org/volunteer/office-volunteer/#CommunityService
📢 ¡Un Llamado a voluntarios! 📢

¡Just Neighbors está buscando voluntarios hispanohablantes para nuestro equipo de recepción! Como un voluntario de la recepción, deberás:

	🌟 Contestar al teléfono
	🌟 Llenar formularios con clientes
	🌟 Preparar documentos y aplicaciones de inmigración
	🌟 Realizar tareas básicas de oficina
	🌟 Asistir con divulgación
	🌟 Ayudar con traducciones

💙 Sí está interesado en unirse a nuestro equipo y convertirse en voluntario de recepción, visite: https://www.justneighbors.org/volunteer/office-volunteer/#CommunityService
Join the @iljnetwork to listen to impacted asylum seekers at the border and make a collective call to Congress for a change in Bidens asylum policy trajectory. The administrations announcement of the upcoming asylum ban and the disturbing news that the administration is considering detaining immigrant families at the border is inhumane and immoral. We must demand that the administration abandon ineffective and deadly deterrence policies and restore the right to asylum. 
Únase a nosotros y escuchemos las historias de los migrantes que buscan asilos en EEUU desde la frontera. Haremos juntos un llamado colectivo al Congreso de este país para que la politíca de asilo del Presidente Biden cambie su trayectoria. El anuncio de la administración restringiendo el derecho al asilo a los migrantes es pertubador y las noticias de detención a familias inmigrantes en la frontera es inhumano e inmoral. Nosotros demandamos que el gobierno abandone estas políticas ineficaces, mortales y que reinstituya el derecho al asilo.
💜 March is Womens History Month 💜 

Yuri Kochiyama was a trailblazing activist and civil rights leader who dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality for everyone. Born in California to Japanese immigrant parents, she was a strong advocate for the rights of Asian Americans, African Americans, and other marginalized communities. She was actively involved in various social justice movements throughout her life, including the fight for redress and reparations for Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II, Puerto Rican independence, and immigrant rights.

Today and everyday we celebrate her incredible contributions to our society and continue to uplift the voices of women in our fight for justice and equality.
💜 Marzo es el mes nacional de la historia de la mujer 💜 

Yuri Kochiyama fue una activista pionera y líder de derechos civiles quien dedicó su vida luchando por justicia y igualdad para todos. Nacío en California de padres inmigrantes japoneses, ella fue una firme defensora para los derechos de los asiáticos americanos, los africanos americanos y otras comunidades marginadas. Ella estaba involucrada activamente en varios movimientos de justicia social en toda su vida, incluyendo la lucha para reparación y compensación para los japoneses americanos en campos de internamiento durante la segunda guerra mundial, la independencia de Puerto Rico, y los derechos de inmigrantes. 

Hoy y todos los días celebramos sus increíbles contribuciones a nuestra sociedad y seguimos elevando las voces de las mujeres en nuestra lucha por justicia y igualdad.
📢 Calling all volunteers! 📢

Join Just Neighbors and Epworth United Methodist Church Gaithersburg Maryland on March 23 to volunteer and help immigrant communities at our immigration clinic! English and Spanish speakers are needed from 5:30PM-8:30PM at Epworth UMC in Gaithersburg, MD. 

💙 Link to sign up in bio!
📢 ¡Un llamado a los voluntarios! 📢

¡Únase a Just Neighbors y Epworth United Methodist Church en el día 23 de marzo para ser voluntario y ayudar las comunidades inmigrantes en nuestra clínica de inmigración! Hablantes de inglés y español se necesitan desde las 5:30PM hasta las 8:30PM en Epworth UMC en Gaithersburg, MD.

💙 Link de registro en nuestro bio!
Today we celebrate all the achievements that women of all backgrounds have made to bring progress to our world, and continue to #EmbraceEquity to work towards a world where difference is appreciated and celebrated. 

Join us in embracing equity and equality for women and celebrating the power, innovation, and creativity of the women who came before us, the women today, and the women that will proceed us. 
Hoy celebramos todos los logros que las mujeres de todos los orígenes han hecho para que nuestro mundo progrese. Continuamos en #AbrazaLaEquidad para trabajar hacia un mundo donde las diferencias son apreciadas y celebradas. 

Únase a nosotros en abrazando la equidad y la igualdad para las mujeres. Hoy celebramos el poder, la innovación y creatividad de las mujeres quien precedieron primero que nosotros, las mujeres de hoy y las mujeres que procederán despúes de nosotros.
We were all smiles for AmazonSmile and are sad to see the program go, but theres new ways to support your favorite charity while shopping or surfing the internet!

💙 Ebay for Charity - Spring clean while supporting a cause! You choose the percentage of your sale that gets donated to Just Neighbors, and you pay less in fees and taxes. Its a win win!
💙 Goodsearch - Change your default search engine to Goodsearch and earn money for Just Neighbors with each search. Every penny counts!
💙 Goodshop - Shop online through Goodshop and a portion of the proceeds will go to Just Neighbors.
💙 iGive - Add the iGive extension to your browser or download the app and shop! A portion of the proceeds will go to Just Neighbors.
💙 ShopRaise - Add the ShopRaise extension to your browser or download the app and shop! A portion of the proceeds will go to Just Neighbors.

Thank you to everyone who lent a helping hand to immigrants in VA, MD, and DC through AmazonSmile! We truly appreciate you!
¿Quiere saber más sobre las últimas noticias de Just Neighbors, las historias y los éxitos de nuestros clientes y las nuevas oportunidades voluntarias, pasantías y laborales?

¡Link para suscribir en la bio!
Did you know you can sponsor an immigrant from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela and help them get legal status in the US?

The US Department of State recently announced a new parole program called Welcome Corp that allows individuals to sponsor Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan nationals. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will be hosting a Welcome Corp 101 to explain how the process works on March 2, from 2:00PM-3:00PM. 

💚  Link to register in bio!

Just Neighbors Managing Attorney for Maryland & DC Sarah Selim Milad will be facilitating an Immigration Law Workshop with the Refugee Health Partnership at Johns Hopkins University on March 3 from 12:00PM-1:00PM.

You will learn about the legal proceedings involved in an asylum case and what its like from an attorneys prospective. 

The event is in-person, but will be livestreamed through Zoom as well. If youre interested in attending, please contact Development Coordinator Ashley Pechinski at ashley@justneighbors.org for more details.
✊ Happy World NGO Day! ✊

Today we celebrate all the thousands of amazing non-profit organizations all over the world that work tirelessly together to fight for human rights, equality, education, and the earth.

To our incredible staff, volunteers, partners, supporters, and everyone who advocates for equality and change, we are forever grateful and endlessly appreciative of you and the work you do. Thank you!
✊ ¡Feliz día mundial de las ONGs! ✊

Hoy celebramos a las miles de increíbles ONGs en el mundo que trabajan juntos para luchar por los derechos humanos, igualdad, educación y la tierra.

A nuestros increíbles staff, voluntarios, socios, simpatizantes y todos los que abogan por igualdad y cambio, estamos eternamente agradecidos y apreciamos infinitamente a ustedes y el trabajo que hacen. ¡Muchísimas gracias!
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