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Palomas 2023

In May 2019 our UU congregation began supporting the Deming NM shelter for asylum seekers on their way to sponsors. We were a collection site for our county. With those donations we packed food travel bags (GoBags) as well as sent clothing, medical supplies and food for the shelter. All of that ceased in fall 2019 when the border was “shut,” and the Remain in Mexico (MPP) was strictly enforced. The shelter for asylum seekers in Palomas, Tierra de Oro, held a relatively stable number of guests waiting and waiting and waiting… and we transferred our support to them.

In June 2020 Border Patrol started expelling dozens of Title 42 migrants (preventing anyone from entering the US due to COVID 19) daily and mostly at night into Palomas. These guests at the shelter may only stay 1 or 2 days but most are in dire need of food, sleep and first aid before they decide where to go next. And because of the pandemic they had to be kept separate from the asylum seekers. At our UU building we continue to have a biweekly collection of supplies for the shelter. These supplies are transported to Deming, NM and then sent across the border by officially sanctioned individuals.

In February 2021 we began to pack GoBags again for the migrants subject to Title 42. We pack at least 250 bags a week as well as continue to provide for the asylum seekers at Tierra de Oro in Palomas. The fire station in Palomas has also opened to T42 migrants. What we are able to do is dependent on donations from our wider community, both locally and nationally. As of early 2022, the Deming shelter has opened again for asylum seekers heading to sponsors in the US.

Our role will continue evolve as border policies evolve. You can read below the last three weekly posts with updated information on Palomas and Deming, as well as the current needs for the migrants and asylees. If you would like to personally receive these posts, contact Barbara Gabioud at bgabioud@gmail.com.

Additional note to our UU listserv: If you would like to help us on a collection Wednesday or be a driver to Deming, please let me know.  The generosity of our community will warm your heart. 

Note:  Driven by the hope for a better future, many migrants who are being expelled from the US will continue to try to re-enter, regardless of the dangers and hardships they face.

1/11/2023

By now you know that Biden has extended Title 42 to apply to migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, meaning Mexico has agreed to accept them back into their already overcrowded border cities. Biden’s concession is to accept 30,000 monthly from these countries including Venezuelans who were recently made subject to T42. But they need to have sponsors/financial resources! This disregards international law and leaves thousands excluded from the possibility of asylum. A question I have is, what about migrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who have been subject to T42 since its inception in 2020? Why aren’t they included in the monthly quota? If you know the answer to this please let me know! Biden issued this news just prior to his visit to El Paso on Sunday.

Now, PLEASE open this Word document! It is an article by Morgan Smith, a Santa Fe journalist who has covered the border for over a decade (and has an article in Desert Exposure this month too). It was published on January 1st in the Denver Post. I was so impressed that I printed it out as a reference. He succinctly suggests some solutions to several dire immigration issues, including Dreamers, guest workers and the many migrants who have overstayed their visas.

And for those of you who appreciate photos, below you will see a load of firewood that you helped to purchase for the cook stove in the Palomas fire station shelter; as well as the simple hot breakfasts it prepares daily.

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, January 18th, from 3:00 to 3:30.

Deming needs: LYSOL SPRAY, 16 OZ BOTTLES of WATER, 60 gallon trash bags, STUFFED ANIMALS and SMALL HANDHELD TOYS (think Happy Meals); UNDERWEAR (new), SPORTS BRAS, SOCKS, and WARM CLOTHING for men and women in all sizes; SUERO/PEDIASURE, DIAPERS (sizes 5&6); COFFEE, SUGAR and CREAMER, BEANS/RICE and other NON-PERISHABLE FOODS; plus BOYS JEANS 2t-16 and TODDLER GLOVES.

Palomas needs: Disposable COFFEE cups, spoons and forks. And for the 800 GoBags we send them every month CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES.

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicles. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. If you would like to read my last 3 posts they are available on our UU website uufsc.com. It might give you ideas of other needed supplies. Click on the Palomas/Deming 2023 link on the left side of the page. Or you can dig deeper on our fellowship’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UUFSC all the way back to May 2019 when our project started.

To contribute financially you can mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with ‘Border' in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062.

Thank you to everyone who continues to believe in The American Dream for all our neighbors. ~Barbara

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

12/28/2022

So, given yesterday’s news that the Supreme Court is letting Title 42 stay in place until at least February, I have been waffling between rage and despair. I cannot think of any one word to describe my feelings. We’ve all seen the news from El Paso of migrants freezing in the streets and about Texas Governor Abbott’s stunts with barbed wire and buses full of families, some in only shorts and t-shirts, dumped in 15* weather near Kamala Harris’s house in DC. The only positive that can possibly come from this is a bipartisan revamping of our immigration policies from Congress. But I’m not placing bets…

 

I can share a Christmas miracle, though. Remember the Christmas tree that the guests at the Palomas fire station fashioned at Thanksgiving for those who would be welcomed by it in the days to come? Well, thanks to Santa Sandra and her granddaughters, that tree was blessed over night for those who woke up at the shelter on Christmas morning.

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, January 4th, from 3:00 to 3:30.

Deming needs: LYSOL SPRAY, 16 OZ BOTTLES of WATER, STUFFED ANIMALS and SMALL HANDHELD TOYS (think Happy Meals), UNDERWEAR (new), SPORTS BRAS, SOCKS, and WARM CLOTHING for men and women in all sizes, SUERO/PEDIASURE, GERBER BABY FOOD POUCHES, COFFEE, SUGAR and CREAMER, BEANS/RICE and other NON-PERISHABLE FOODS, and CHILDREN’S JACKETS IN ALL SIZES.

Palomas needs: Disposable COFFEE cups, spoons and forks. And for the 800 GoBags we send them every month CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES.

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicles. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. If you would like to read my last 3 posts they are available on our UU website uufsc.com. It might give you ideas of other needed supplies. Click on the Palomas/Deming 2022 link on the left side of the page. Or you can dig deeper on our fellowship’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UUFSC all the way back to May 2019 when our project started.

To contribute financially you can mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with ‘Border' in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062. 

 

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing compassion and generosity! Let’s wish for a brighter New Year for everyone at the border.  ~Barbara

11/30/2022

I’ve never started my emails with photos but these brought tears to my eyes as they came in from the Palomas fire station on Friday evening. Just as many of you spent Black Friday getting ready for the Christmas holidays, so did the guests of the shelter.  Using just what they had on hand they have added joyful color to their lives and others. These are the resourceful men and women who have visions not just for Christmas, but for their families’ futures.

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

Now on to some news. Title 42 is still a mess. A federal judge in DC overturned it on November 16th, meaning NO ONE would be turned away from seeking asylum for public health reasons; however the judge reluctantly granted a stay til December 21st to allow the administration to better prepare. And then…last week a coalition of Republican states appealed the judge's decision. Who knows where it goes from here.

The Venezuelans in particular are in dire straits in Juarez. Their tent camp along the Rio Grande was totally dismantled as Juarez officials try to lure them to shelters for their health and safety. At the same time the cartels are hard at work. One Tierra de Oro shelter was broken into last week and only a distant police car prevented an abduction of the residents…they only had their cell phones and money stolen.    

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7th.

Since things are a little up in the air right now, I’m just going to list the top needs for both Deming and Palomas. People pass so quickly through both shelters we aren’t putting out a request specifically for Christmas donations. Please hold them all in your hearts during these cold months.

Deming needs: toilet paper, small stuffed animals and handheld toys (think Happy Meals), socks and new underwear for all ages and sizes, Suero/Pedialyte, baby wipes, beans and rice/other non-perishable foods, laundry detergent, jackets for all sizes of children, and hair ties.

Palomas needs: twin size bed sheets and blankets, a clothes drying rack, a DVD player (someone has donated a TV!) cold meds, and disposable COFFEE cups, spoons and forks.

For our 800 GoBags per month we still use: CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. 

We collect donations on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, 3:00-3:30, at the UUFSC building, 3845 N Swan (not our mailing address) in Silver City. You can drive straight down on either side of our collection vehicle. We will get you unloaded and then you can drive out easily. If you are bringing any of the above GoBag items, please let the crew unloading your car know about them. If you would like to read my last 3 posts they are available on our UU website uufsc.com. It might give you ideas of other needed supplies. Click on the Palomas/Deming 2022 link on the left side of the page. Or you can dig deeper on our fellowship’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UUFSC all the way back to May 2019 when our project started.

To contribute financially you can mail checks made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City) with ‘Border' in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034, Silver City, NM 88062. Thank you everyone! ~Barbara


 https://www.borderreport.com/hot-topics/immigration/border-towns-struggle-with-the-thousands-of-migrants-immediately-deported-under-cdc-order/


 

 





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