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Palomas 2020/2021

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.

In June 2020 we reactivated our UU Social Justice work to support the migrant shelter, Tierra del Oro, in Palomas, Mexico, 2 hours south of Silver City. What started as a small shelter for asylum seekers waiting to head north, became a transit stop that ICE and the Border Patrol use to expel dozens of detainees every day. 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. At our UU building we have a weekly collection of supplies for the shelter every Wednesday afternoon. These supplies are transported to Deming, NM and then sent across the border by officially sanctioned individuals.

In February 2021 we began, once again, to pack GoBags in anticipation of the Deming shelter re-opening for asylum seekers once Title 42 (preventing anyone from entering the US due to COVID 19) eases. We continue to pack at least 200 bags a week as well as continue to supply the shelter in Palomas. What we are able to do is dependent on donations from our wider community, both locally and nationally.

Our role will 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.

12/30/2021

Thanks to everyone for helping to make Christmas a wonderful celebration for the families waiting in Palomas, as you can see in the photos below. Children everywhere love the magic…

Our next collection day is Wednesday January 5th 3:00-3:30. I know the list of needs is overwhelming but just pick whatever you can manage/afford to do. Every little bit helps, more than you can know.

We continue to support the asylum seeking families WAITING at the shelter in Palomas Mexico. Hopefully they will cross soon into the United States. Their needs include the following:

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES, FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS and TOILETRIES.

Needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA ( SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing for Palomas: for women and men JEANS, SWEATSHIRTS, SWEATPANTS AND SHOES in small sizes and long SHOELACES. Also in Palomas are those migrants who are expelled by US Border Patrol into the care of Grupo Beta. We supply emergency food and water, warm jackets and shoes.

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The biggest change this past month are the LEGAL asylum seeking families on this side of the border in Deming NM, and just to be clear, no one in Deming is COVID positive. They are all in need of new or gently used WARM clothes because most have just been released from detention facilities. ALL SIZES are needed for children from birth on up. ALL SIZES for men: sweaters, sweatshirts, pants, jackets, tennis shoes, hats and gloves. ALL SIZES for women: sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, leggings, tennis shoes, hats and gloves. These guests are passing quickly through Deming where they arrange transportation to their sponsors. As they leave they need BACKPACKS and DUFFEL BAGS.

For those of you who have contributed financially, we authorized $1000 for bulk orders of new socks and underwear. Colores United is operating the shelter in Deming and if you would like to volunteer to help for 4 hour shifts, you can get involved by sending an email to volunteer@coloresunited.org or send a text to Ariana at 505-573-4010.

The 200+ GoBags of food we pack each week include: CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them. They are being distributed in both Deming and Palomas.

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. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may 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 and Happy New Year! ~Barbara


UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

12/8/2021

For those of you who have been with us since 2019, you know that we started out supporting the Deming shelter and then switched to Palomas when asylum seekers were barred from the US. The good news is that Deming, along with other NM shelters, has been receiving some asylum seekers!! With Remain in Mexico slowly being reinstated with more exceptions, all guests are tested and should be vaccinated. Sooo…we have begun transitioning more support back to Deming. As time goes on we will see how FEMA funds, as well as processing, is handled on the border. MPP is a very messy, discriminatory policy and Mexico is being more assertive this time round about the US helping to provide shelter in Mexico. Border Patrol will also now ask if asylees have a credible fear of returning, not just to their home country, but also to Mexico.

Our GoBags are being used both places, as you can see in the photos below. But since the asylees have been in ICE detention, many of them have ankle monitors which you can also see. Ariana tells us "We are but a blip in their timeline but they know while they are here in New Mexico they are loved. Because you are able to help us with your donations we are able to give them that love. They leave us with restored humanity.”

Deming does need volunteers to help in the warehouse for 4 hour shifts and you can get involved by sending an email to volunteer@coloresunited.org. Specific needs in Deming are women’s “bikini” style underwear size 5-7; all sizes of men’s underwear and long pants (particularly SWEATPANTS to fit over ankle monitors ), men’s medium knit or cotton long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts; and socks in adult sizes. Backpacks/duffel bags are also being used in Deming for bus and plane trips to sponsors.

Next Wednesday, December 15th, is a collection day! It’s the last collection before CHRISTMAS. We have sent down a tree and decorations and had a really good response to providing specific gifts for kids. We still could use small stocking stuffers and treats for both adults and children. Extra candies and treats are also appreciated by Grupo Beta to hand out.

The 200 GoBags of food we pack each week include (red =most needed this week): CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them.

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES.

Needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA ( SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing for Palomas: for women and men JEANS, SWEATSHIRTS, SWEATPANTS AND SHOES in small sizes and long SHOELACES. 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. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may 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 ~ Barbara


UUFSC Palomas photo

UUFSC Palomas photo

11/24/2021

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US but the residents at the Palomas Mexico shelter will also be eating turkey and holiday side dishes thanks to a generous Silver City donor. I was curious about how the turkeys would be cooked…turns out The Pink Store in Palomas is taking care of that! Let’s hope their turkey next year will be cooked in the US in their own homes.

I also want to thank everyone who has been participating with us in the past two and a half years; even through COVID. I asked you all a few weeks back about your communities and religious affiliations. Last week I presented the history of our project to our fellowship and I wanted to know more about “us.” We have packed close to 13,000 GoBags and had donations from at least 28 states and a few foreign countries! And in just Grant County more than 13 religious groups have had participants. Even more interesting to me was how many responded with “no religious affiliation.” Kindness truly comes from the heart in all of us.

Next Wednesday, December 1st, is a collection day! With only 2 collections before CHRISTMAS, in addition to the supplies below, we want to make the holiday special for families. There is some movement out of the shelter but I have some specific children at this moment who can be “adopted" to buy a gift for. Let me know by responding to this email, if you would like to take this on and for which specific child. Hopefully, we can get them all covered. Boys: 3 months, 2 years, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 11,15. Girls: 1 year, 3, 4, 6, 13,14,14. Please wrap them in gift bags with a tag for which child. The kids could also use shoes; so think teenagers and approximate sizes.

The artificial tree and ornaments we sent down last year are no longer there. Once they go into the shelter we have no control over their future. The picture below is all that’s left from last year So we could use another tree (reply to me if you have one); and a few ornaments. And...small stocking stuffer treats. Some extra candy/treats would also be welcomed by Grupo Beta to hand out with GoBags this month.

I know that’s a lot; but together we can make it happen!

The 200 GoBags of food we pack each week include (red =most needed this week): CRACKER PACKS, 16 OZ BOTTLES OF WATER, WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS, GRANOLA/BREAKFAST BARS, and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We also need 1 GALLON ZIPLOCK BAGS for packing them.

Medical needs: ALLERGY AND COLD MEDICINES, ROLLS OF GAUZE AND GAUZE PADS, POVIDONE IODINE SWABSTICKS, TYLENOL FOR CHILDREN, IBUPROFEN and INDIVIDUAL PACKETS OF ELECTROLYTES.

Needs for the youngest asylum seekers include: DIAPERS sizes 3-6, BABY WIPES, DIAPER CREAM, FORMULA ( SMALL CANS) SIMILAC or NIDO, BABY BOTTLES, COLD WEATHER BABY/KID CLOTHES NB TO SIZE 4, BABY/KID SHOES UP TO SIZE 4

Additional Food: CUP-OF-NOODLES

Clothing: for women and men JEANS, SWEATSHIRTS, SWEATPANTS AND SHOES in small sizes and long SHOELACES.

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. We will put them inside for packing rather than send them to Deming to be transferred to Palomas. PLEASE WEAR A MASK.

To contribute financially you may 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 ~ Barbara


UUFSC Palomas photo




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


 

 





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