By KAY MATTHEWS
The number of immigrants coming across the border into the U.S. continues to increase as the shelters and hospitality centers struggle to provide the services that the Border Patrol and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) should be providing (Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration is suing the Trump administration to stop its policy of releasing asylum-seekers from Central America into communities near the southern border without any assistance).
The City of Las Cruces has opened up the old Armory to help in the charitable efforts to provide this assistance and is currently seeing about 100-150 people a day. The immigrants are being dropped off by the Border Patrol, often without their asylum paperwork in order; previously, ICE had dealt with the paperwork and the drop-offs. In response, the Las Cruces Diocese, which coordinates with the city, is hiring and training a travel team of fluent Spanish speakers and computer experts who will work at the parishes to help get the immigrants’ sponsorship and travel paperwork in order and on buses or planes to their families and sponsors.
I will be traveling to Las Cruces on Thursday, June 20 to volunteer at the Diocese of Las Cruces Project Oak Tree, which I’ve written about in previous La Jicarita articles. Sylvia Corona, volunteer coordinator for Oak Tree, is asking for the following donations, which I can take down with me:
• toothbrushes/underwear/socks for both males, females of all ages
• small to medium pants for both men and women
• nylon draw string bags or grocery bags, the reusable ones
• shoe strings and hair ties
Other items such as baby clothes, shirts, shoes, toys, toiletries, etc., are always welcome, along with monetary donations (made out to Deacon Lonnie Briseno, Pastoral Center, 1280 Med Park, Las Cruces NM 88005). The image on this posting is of Sylvia with the kids’ bikes that were donated by Chainbreaker Collective in Santa Fe.
Please let me know if you have anything to offer for this trip by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling at 505 689-2200. Muchas gracias.