Service Times and Location

Newsletter
Facility Rental
File Archive
Photo Gallery
About UU
AmazonSmile
UU Links
Home Page

Palomas 2023

On Mother’s Day weekend in May 2019, without warning, US Border Patrol started dropping hundreds of legal asylum seeking families in Deming, NM (50 miles south of Grant County/Silver City). Most without food, adequate clothing, and in poor medical condition. Our UU congregation immediately began supporting the emergency shelter originally setup at the county fairgrounds and an old WWII airplane hangar. We were the collection site for our county and sent provisions every week. Weekly emails started going out to several hundred people with lists of immediate needs. With those donations we packed emergency food bags (GoBags) as well as sent clothing, toys, medical supplies and food for the shelter.

And then, 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 MX (just across the border from Deming) 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 (and now hundreds) of Title 42 migrants (preventing anyone from entering the US due to COVID 19) daily into Palomas (a small town of 5000). These guests might only stay 1 or 2 days, but most were 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 who were quarantined. Two totally separate shelters have since opened for these expelled persons, including a 5 month old baby recently. We remain their primary source of supplies and the number has climbed skyward. In January 2023 alone, close to 2000 people were expelled into Palomas, with half of them getting a place to sleep and food through the fire station/shelters. We pay stipends to a team in Palomas to provide for them.

In addition, in early 2022, the Deming shelter on the US side of the border re-opened for asylum seekers heading to sponsors in the US! They too need food, warm clothing and care. We supply them as well as Palomas as best we can. What we are able to do is dependent on donations from our wider community… locally, nationally and internationally.

Although there are needs across the entire southern border, we remain committed to our corner of New Mexico/Mexico which generally gets overlooked in the bigger picture. In doing so we can have a bigger impact in these smaller communities. We remain a totally volunteer group with all donations and monetary support coming from individuals. If you would like to receive our biweekly emails, 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.

3/22/2023

UUFSC Palomas photo

 

If you didn’t make it to the Cabalgata on March 11th in Columbus NM, the above photo is the start of what you missed. Hundreds of horses and riders led by Pancho Villa crossing from Palomas. Somehow it just belongs on the top of a letter.

As we all wait for May 11th, when Title 42 is scheduled to be lifted and new immigration guidelines instituted, the border continues to prepare.  Earlier this week Secretary of Homeland Security, Andrew Mayorkas, was in Arizona discussing the new Operation Blue Lotus to stop major fentanyl trafficking through legal ports of entry. That may explain the new “x-ray machine” some of us are asked to pass through coming north out of Palomas. Not sure if the Cabalgata horses had to pass through that or not…

Secretary Mayorkas was also in El Paso where Governor Abbott continues to install more concertina wire defying federal officials who contend that Texas doesn’t have the proper permits to do so. And, interestingly, earlier this month a species of milkweed critical for monarch migration was placed into protection under the Endangered Species Act. Over 660 acres were deemed critical habitat along the southern border of Texas and may interfere with more miles of wall Abbott is attempting to build. One more reason to appreciate the beauty of butterflies

At the bottom of this email you can see Sandra handing over some keys to Protección Civil who will staff the Bomberos shelter on weekends. Also, the latest guests.

And finally, to quote El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz in response to the Biden administration's new border proposals, “The only crisis at the border is a moral crisis. And the only failure is one of courage and justice.” The rest of his article is here  https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2023/03/14/biden-asylum-immigration-244876

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, April 5th, from 3:00 to 3:30.

PALOMAS needs ~ SWEATPANTS/SHIRTS or PAJAMAS  for shelter guests to wear while their clothes are being laundered. And for the 800 GoBags we send every month CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES

DEMING needs ~ All guests are transitioning to LIGHTER WEIGHT JACKETS and CLOTHING so hold onto your winter wear for now. Children's needs include DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, BABY FORMULA, GERBER BABY FOOD POUCHES, BABY BOTTLES and SUERO/PEDIASURE. Adult guests need CUP-OF-NOODLES, SOCKS and NEW UNDERWEAR in all sizes. 

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.

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

3/8/2023

Happy International Women’s Day! To those of you on this email list as well as to all women in search of a better life for their children. The photo below is of an Ecuadorian woman who stayed at the shelter for asylum seekers in Palomas, Mexico. She traveled to the border under obviously difficult circumstances begging for a better life for her baby.  The photo was taken over a year ago.  I wonder where they are now

UUFSC Palomas photo

 

 I’m not going to comment on the incident in Matamoros, except to say that if four US citizens could be kidnapped and killed, why do we send helpless asylum seekers back into Mexico to await their fate?

And I’m not going to comment on the rumors that Biden may reinstate family detention (a policy he campaigned against) when Title 42 is lifted.

But the Biden rules which have been publicly proposed are that migrants who cross the southwest land border illegally, or who have not applied for protection in transit countries on their way to the US border, will be presumed ineligible for asylum unless they meet certain limited exceptions. These rules blatantly ignore international law! The public is invited to submit comments until March 27. Here’s a link https://immigrationjustice.quorum.us/campaign/44910/  that gives you more information on the proposed rules as well as the opportunity to submit your comments. PLEASE DO SO!!

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, March 15th, from 3:00 to 3:30.

PALOMAS needs ~ Now that the bomberos shelter has a washer and dryer the men need medium size SWEATPANTS/SHIRTS or PAJAMAS to wear while they are laundering their own clothes. And for the 800 GoBags we send every month CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES

DEMING needs ~ With numbers of guests increasing the youngest guests are in need of DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, BABY FORMULA, GERBER BABY FOOD POUCHES, BABY BOTTLES and SUERO/PEDIASURE. Adult guests need CUP-OF-NOODLES, SOCKS and NEW UNDERWEAR in all sizes. 

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.

Lastly, it looks like the weather in Columbus, NM, less than 10 minutes north of Palomas Mexico will be in the high 70’s this Saturday (March 11th)! Perfect weather for hosting the 24th annual Cabalgata Binacional and Fiesta de Amistad. The history behind the Cabalagata (Cavalcade) began with the commemoration of the day Mexican revolutionary General Francisco “Pancho” Villa carried out an attack on the town of Columbus on March 9,1916. It represents the goodwill and strong relationships Mexico and the United States have built since the attack. The Fiesta de Amistad was added to the Cabalgata in celebration of the horse riders coming together in the village.  Dozens of riders are expected from Mexico. They will cross the border where they will meet up with U.S. riders and the two groups will caravan into Columbus. A day of music, food, vendors, and presentations will fill the day both in Palomas and Columbus. I plan to be there. Want to join me? ~Barbara

UUFSC Palomas photo

2/22/2023

First of all, thank you to everyone who showed up for our collection last week, both workers and those of you donated. It was the worst weather yet for a collection but everyone survived the frigid temps (see below). What you can’t see is the wind velocity!! But as I write this email the weather is equally bad. Hopefully next Wednesday for the collection “the third time’s the charm” will hold true! See you then.  And sorry, no adorable baby pictures this week.

At the national level the Supreme Court will not be hearing the case brought by Republican states regarding Title 42 because it is now agreed that the public health emergency regarding the pandemic will terminate on May 11th. There are a lot of ramifications with this, not just “Title 42 going away.” And, unfortunately, it has been announced that other policies will be implemented on the border very similar to Trump’s travel ban which required migrants to request asylum in any country they had to pass through getting to the US. We’ll watch how all that plays out through the courts.

Another plot twist involves Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega abruptly expelled 222 political leaders, priests, students, activists and other dissidents to Washington DC and stripped them all of their citizenship; a punishment considered by many to be worse than torture and a violation of international law.. The US has granted them two-year humanitarian parole and Spain has granted them citizenship. What a circus... 

OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, March 1st, from 3:00 to 3:30.

PALOMAS news~ Because Mexico agreed to take more nationalities back under Title 42, the government has also begun to provide some aid to the shelters receiving deportees. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that a permanent shelter will eventually be established in Palomas. Needs for Palomas include disposable COFFEE cups, spoons and forks. And for the 800 GoBags we send them every month CRACKER PACKS, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES

DEMING news~ The administration and Border Patrol continue to refuse asylum to such high numbers, that US shelters are still biding their time for numbers to increase on this side of the border. But they continue to need: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, WIPES, BABY FORMULA, GERBER BABY FOOD POUCHES, BABY BOTTLES, SUERO/PEDIASURE, TODDLER GLOVES, and sizes 2t-16 BOYS JEANS/SWEATPANTS. For adults they need SOCKS and NEW UNDERWEAR in all sizes. 

************************

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 for your continued support of immigrant needs. ~Barbara

UUFSC Palomas photo







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


 

 





  Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City - 2012                                                                                                                  This site is maintained by the Web Manager UUFSC