FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Bethel United African Church hosted Lucia E. Perpina, Esq. for a workshop designed to help immigrants know and understand their rights this past Sunday.  

"A lot of people are not getting due process because they don't know their rights," Perpina said. Perpina is an attorney that specializes in criminal, civil, school/education, and immigration law. 

She passed out cards to members of Bethel and urged them to contact her if they or someone they know feel their rights are being violated. 

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 Reverand Dr. Victor H. Fakondo Sr. has known Perpina for 20 years and felt the need to have her come to his church to speak to his congregation.

"I contacted her as a result of the president's recent executive order on immigration," Fakondo said. 

Perpina says she will visit any community organization to give a free workshop discussing immigrant rights, and answer immigration law questions as they relate to the executive orders.  

According to Perpina, police should not be doing the work of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), because studies have shown that it does not make communities safer. 

"When police act as ICE agents, domestic violence tends to go up in the immigrant populations because especially undocumented victims will not report instances of abuse,” Perpina said. “And in those communities, people will not want to share their knowledge of criminal activity in fear of having to reveal their immigration status to the police and getting deported.”

In addition to leaving her business card behind Perpina also gave members of Bethel a protect your rights document. 

Protect Your Rightspdf 

"I was informed and educated on the executive order on immigration and after the workshop, there was more clarity to the facts," Fakonda said. 

More information on Bethel United African Church can be found below:


According to Bethel's website, the love of God knows no color, age or wealth and status. It knows no bounds. It just fills the world with hope, joy and bliss. We seek to promote the teachings of God to make our world a better place for everyone.

Bethel United African Church is on a mission to spread the love and faith to feed your soul with kindness. We give back to our community by creating projects that can benefit the wellness of the residents physically, mentally and spiritually. Walk with us to have your life changed by the Word of God.

Be a part of our church and let God enter your heart and soul. You are welcome to join Bethel United African Church anytime for any assistance you need, whether it is for spiritual enlightening or strengthen your faith.

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