Las Familias Solidarity

by | Sep 20, 2021 | News and Interviews

The Democratic Party of Sandoval County supports the efforts of this Sandoval County organization to help asylum seekers in the El Paso area. Please consider helping them out.

Las Familias Solidarity – September 1, 2021 Trip Summary

Every month, our team drives to El Paso with two fully loaded SUV’s to supply the needs of Annunciation House, a 503c charity that has been welcoming refugees and asylum seeking families for over 38 years, with no governmental support.

We first visited Casa Vides, an Annunciation House site, that is for asylum seekers that are released by US Customs and Border Patrol with their legal travel authorization, but are not able to travel within the usual 72-hour time frame. Their guests may be a minor who has just turned 18, but has no US sponsor to help.  Another guest may have a medical problem that needs recovery time, or a mother with a days old baby.

The volunteer team works tirelessly to take care of the asylum seekers’ needs and find them a supportive US sponsor.

The asylum seekers that were arriving that day from Customs and Border Patrol at the 3

Annunciation House shelters came from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico!

Next, we traveled to Casa del Refugiado, (CDR) a larger Annunciation House site that can accommodate up to 500 asylum seeker guests. Their numbers were lower due to the Supreme Court reinstating the “Remain in Mexico” MPP policy for asylum seekers awaiting their assigned court dates, and Title 42 which has closed the border because of COVID. Guests at Casa Del Refugiado were asylum seekers released by Customs and Border Patrol. Most are from 3 overflowing detention centers in Texas. They arrive with their government issued travel authorization and a government issued blue Tshirt, grey sweatpants and flip flops. Usually they have no other possessions!

The volunteer staff at CDR tests all guests for COVID, sending anyone that tests positive to a separate quarantine center near Ft. Bliss. The volunteers at CDR provide food, showers, COVID vaccine, medical care, clothing and help to connect guests with their US sponsors, who provide their bus or plane tickets.

Most children coming from the detention centers are sick due to “La Hiela” (Icebox) which is what the Asylum Seekers and their guards call the US Immigrant Detention Centers because of their frigid room temperature. The children often have coughs, colds, rashes, diarrhea and pink eye.

We got a chance to meet Lillian, the new co-director of Casa del Refugiado. We asked her what she wanted people to know about Immigration in the United States.

Read the complete article here.

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