New Mexicans Step Up to Help Central American Immigrants


All over New Mexico folks are rising up to meet the needs of the Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Sylvia Corona, volunteer coordinator for Project Oak Tree for the Diocese of Las Cruces sent out notice today, April 15, that ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) has been dropping off van loads of immigrants all over Las Cruces and other nearby communities. Both the faith community and the local government are providing additional shelters and provisions beyond the already well established system set up by Annunciation House of El Paso that oversees shelters in both El Paso and Las Cruces (see La Jicarita March 2 article describing the work the shelters do).

Sayrah Namaste, an Albuquerque volunteer runs the “adopt a shelter” for the Diocese of Las Cruces. So far five congregations have adopted the shelters: Albuquerque Mennonite church, Santa Fe Quakers, Las Cruces Quakers, Santa Fe Faith network for immigrant justice, and Nahalat Shalom synagogue.  The larger Albuquerque community has stepped up to help the 1,400 immigrants ICE has released in the city, including Albuquerque Interfaith and  Catholic Charities. Sayrah also arranged for a donation of children’s bicycles that were delivered to Las Cruces.

Students from Capital High School in Albuquerque made a trip to Las Cruces to volunteer with their teacher Meredith Tilp, who will return in May with donations.

While the churches and government agencies have been able to provide most of the cots, blankets, and food needed at the shelters, there is always a need for clothing, toys, toiletries, etc. Here is a list Sylvia has compiled of what is needed:
• Small men’s clothes, pants, shirts, light jackets, COLORED UNDERWEAR.
• Women’s small and medium pants, light jackets, blouses and COLORED UNDERWEAR.
• Teen boy and Teen girl everything. COLORED UNDERWEAR.
• Little boy and Little girl everything, COLORED UNDERWEAR.
• SHOES! Of every kind and size.
• Small stuffed toys, coloring books and crayons, and balls.
• A few bottles of infant Tylenol or Advil or whatever you give to babies under a year.

Here is a list of where you can send your donations. I will be going down to Las Cruces on April 25, so contact me directly if you’d like to send donations with me for the Las Cruces shelters.

Deacon Lonnie Briseno
Pastoral Center
1280 Med Park
Las Cruces NM 88005

El Cavario United Methodist Church
300 N Campo Street
Las Cruces NM 88001

St. Francis Xavier,
820 Broadway SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102:
Accepting children’s clothing, men’s shoes, backpacks, hygiene supplies, lightweight gloves, caps and hats, small toys, coloring books and crayons, lightweight gloves, stuffed animals, lightweight lap blankets, men’s pants and briefs, waist sizes 29 to 34, size 5 to 8 shoes for men and women, children’s shoes, belts, sports bras and camisoles, individually wrapped travel size snacks, reusable flat grocery bags, travel sized hygiene items, lip balm, small jars of Vaseline, Pepto Bismol tabs, individually wrapped allergy and pain medication, cough drops with eucalyptus, children’s cough medicine and fresh fruit.

Monetary donations can be sent to:
Annunciation House
1003 E. San Antonio Ave.,
El Paso, Texas, 79901

Albuquerque Interfaith
431 Richmond Pl NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

Catholic Charities
2010 Bridge Blvd SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105

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