Border Justice Project
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 email@example.com.
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.
First, a quick reminder that this coming Wednesday is a 5th Wednesday, so no collection til February 7th.
Second, I hope you are watching what is happening in Congress about border legislation. There appears to be “seismic" change afoot and I’m not sure how to react. Keep your fingers crossed. There also appears to be a trucker's convoy of “patriots” heading to the border with Mexico next week calling itself “the army of God.” What is our country coming to?!
And now our own local update. Angelica and Weli, the two young women who were at the Palomas shelter finally got an appointment through the CBP One app earlier this month to present themselves to authorities in San Ysidro (San Diego) on January 23rd. Here they are walking to Mexican Immigration in Palomas for their travel permits.
Last week they were taken to the airport in Juarez to fly to Tijuana because of the kidnappings happening in Mexico to bus riders (I wrote about Diego, from the Palomas shelter, on October 25th). Sandra had located a safe shelter there for them to wait. Their appointment was this past Tuesday at 1:00. As of today, Sandra has yet to hear from them. Likely still in detention, not knowing whether they will be allowed to enter the US or get sent back. Here is Angelica’s backstory, in her own words:
“I am Angelica and I am 33 years old. I am from Venezuela but I had to leave my country for refuge in Colombia more than 6 years ago when it was not possible to live in Venezuela anymore. I have 2 daughters, one 10 years old and the other 3 years old. For now they are with my mother in Colombia. My father left 16 years ago and I support my daughters, mother and two brothers, one 13 years old and one 32 years old who has special needs. I worked in Colombia in a customer service warehouse and then as a kitchen assistant in an Italian restaurant. Around 2 years ago, Colombian migration gave us a permit called PPT, which is a temporary protection permit. Since I am the one who supports my mother, brothers, and daughters, I made the decision to travel to the United States, where there is better opportunity. It was not easy to travel through the jungle. There was so much suffering. Mexico was also very difficult: we were passengers in a bus, and a truck suddenly cut across the road and armed men came in to kidnap people. There was a young woman in the bathroom and she was also kidnapped with her baby. Only me and Weli were left who were not kidnapped. There are so many memories; right now, I am focused but also terrified about traveling to the border and presenting myself at the appointment with CBP One. I have no choice but to seek a better life for me and my family.”
Please hold them both in your hearts.
OUR NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, February 7th, from 3:00 to 3:30.
Deming needs: Just in — they need DISPOSABLE SPOONS/FORKS, PLATES AND FOAM COFFEE CUPS. Also CHAPSTICKS and YOUNG BOYS UNDERWEAR. They still need BABY JACKETS also NEW UNDERWEAR IN ALL SIZES, DIAPERS, BABY FORMULA, BABY BOTTLES and WARM CLOTHING FOR ALL AGES AND SIZES. COATS, JACKETS, BEANIES AND GLOVES are needed for everyone going to colder climates up north.
For the 800 GoBags we continue to pack and send every month we need CRACKER PACKS, GRANOLA BARS, Welch’s FRUIT SNACKS and small cans of VIENNA SAUSAGES. We can also use one gallon ziplock storage bags for the GoBags.
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 past posts they are available on our UU website http://uufsc.com/
To contribute financially YOU CAN NOW CONTRIBUTE ONLINE at Border Justice Donation, or 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 support ~Barbara Gabioud
may seem like a small thing…but it’s not...If you
scroll down to my last paragraph you will see that you can DONATE ONLINE! After
almost 5 years we have
finally entered the 21st century. Thank you, Joanne
please, if doesn’t work for you,
let me know...
Principles in their purest form
NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, January
17th, from 3:00 to 3:30.
you to everyone for making Christmas so much warmer
and brighter for all the guests at the Deming shelter for asylum
Colores United, the organization that hosts the shelter asked me to
words with you…
all who have contributed with
donations whether it be monetary or with other items like clothing or
appreciate all that you do to support us. With all your help
we were able
to help families along their journey. We hope you all have a
Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
NEXT COLLECTION IS WEDNESDAY, January
3rd, from 3:00 to 3:30.
KIDDOS MOST NEED BOYS WARM PANTS SIZES 2T-10/12.
will continue to send any used
pairs of EYEGLASSES to Border Partners in Palomas to be
needs: SHOELACES, BELTS, NEW
UNDERWEAR IN ALL SIZES, DIAPERS, BABY
FORMULA, BABY BOTTLES and WARM CLOTHING FOR ALL AGES AND SIZES. COATS,
AND GLOVES are
needed for everyone going to colder climates up north.
for the 800
continue to pack and send every month CRACKER
GRANOLA BARS, and small
can also use one gallon
ziplock storage bags for the GoBags.
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
please let the crew unloading your car know
you would like to read my
last 3 posts they are available on our UU website http://uufsc.com/Palomas2020.html. It
might give you ideas of other
needed supplies. 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.
contribute financially you
may mail checks
made out to UUFSC (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City)
‘Border' in the memo line to UUFSC, PO Box 4034,
Silver City, NM
88062. Thank you for your generosity!
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City - 2012
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