Message From Karen Puschel Segal: ILJ-MI Board Chair

karen segal

Justice for Our Neighbors Michigan begins a new era today as Immigration Law & Justice Michigan, or ILJ-MI!

We are the same great organization with the same crucial mission. But after considerable coordination with partners and supporters, we decided that Immigration Law and Justice Michigan more accurately reflects what we do.

We love our new logo and hope you do, too! The vibrant sun evokes HOPE and a NEW DAY for our clients and for our organization!

Hi. I’m Karen Segal, Board Chair for ILJ Michigan. As a retired State Department diplomat, I’m particularly attuned to the many complicated reasons people are forced to flee their countries.

Last year, ILJ Michigan (then JFON-MI) handled 1032 cases for 680 clients from 74 countries. This involves incredibly detailed, time-consuming work where a single mistake can change a person’s life.

I am so proud of ILJ Michigan attorneys who are some of the most experienced and effective immigration lawyers in the country. They could be working for a private law firm. Instead, they dedicate themselves to our small but mighty non-profit organization in order to serve those in need.

Simply put, ILJ-MI’s work changes lives. People escape abuse, violence and sometimes death. Families are reunited. And entire communities in Michigan benefit. Indeed, I have seen the positive results right here in Traverse City where recent evacuees from Afghanistan – people who formerly served U.S. forces – and from Ukraine are successfully putting down roots and already demonstrating excellence in school and at work. They are making our communities better with assistance from ILJ-MI staff.

As we look ahead to an immigration landscape that just gets more complicated with each passing year, we see our new name – Immigration Law & Justice Michigan — as an opportunity to recommit to our mission and to our work.


JFON-MI Beacon Donors have been incredibly loyal and generous. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We ask you to continue your support for immigrants with your renewed gifts to Immigration Law & Justice Michigan. And if you are not yet a donor, please make an investment in immigrant justice today.

To meet the growing need for legal services and the increasingly complex nature of cases, we must raise a total of $410,000 from individual gifts and faith communities by the end of this year. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I ask today for your support in reaching that goal.

We all know that instability around the world is growing. As a result of political intolerance, war and climate change, the number of displaced people around the globe shows no signs of slowing. We watch the news and feel helpless.

But the one thing we CAN do is to help the people right in front of us. Anyone who saves a life is as if they have saved an entire world. I have found this to be a source of comfort and a reason for activism even when it sometimes seems too discouraging to continue.

This is what ILJ-MI does. We help the people right in front of us. One family at a time. With your help.

With sincere thanks and hope for our future collaborative work,

Karen Puschel Segal
ILJ-MI Board Chair

For the names of all members of the ILJ-MI Board of Directors, click here.


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