Border Ministries

Vision:  Border Ministries is an emerging conference wide ministry to love our immigrant neighbors by both supporting immigration ministries at the border and immigrant communities throughout the NM Annual Conference.

For the latest updates, check out our Border Ministries Newsletters. To subscribe, fill out the form linked below: https://forms.gle/7jsAbijHjGHNzjuZ6

History: In 2014, there was a surge of unaccompanied minors and families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border. During that time, a shelter opened up at the then Houchen Community Center to receive families.

In 2018, another surge of asylum seekers occurred, yet this time several churches throughout the southern portion of the NM Conference operated as shelters for asylum seeking families released and given permission by ICE to travel to their families in the United States. Shelters in El Paso, Las Cruces opened and remained open for many months.  Donations and volunteers poured in to assist the families, to provide food, clothing, and a place to sleep until they could take a bus or plane to be reunited with their sponsors.

In late Spring of 2019, the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), or the Remain in Mexico Program, was implemented in the El Paso sector and releases of families slowed drastically as families were sent to Juarez to await their asylum proceedings. As the asylum seeker population shifted to Mexico, churches sought ways to connect and support them in Juarez. Relationships formed to support the migrants who camped by the bridges, those who stayed at El Buen Samaritano, the Mexican Methodist migrant shelter, and the Pan de Vida shelter.

In June of 2020, the Biden Administration officially ended the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) Program. Thousands of migrants enrolled in MPP have been paroled into the US this Spring, passing through ports of entry and traveling onward to finally be reunited with their family and friends in other cities. Many traveled to other cities in TX and FL. A phase 2 of MPP parole has been rumored to start, which would allow other family members of migrants in MPP to enter the US and may include those whose cases were ruled against in abstentia. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been coordinating this MPP wind down parole process across the Southern Border.

JFON-El Paso:  JFON is a national United Methodist Immigration Ministry, which was originally founded by UMCOR.  JFON-El Paso has hired an Executive Director, Kristen Bowdre.  Kristen is a native Texan and a United Methodist Deaconess. She holds a Master of Social Work from UT and a Master of Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. Kristen has worked in immigrant serving organizations professionally for the past 10 years, including at Annunciation House as a volunteer and board member and as an Accredited Representative at Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services in El Paso, TX. Kristen is excited to return to El Paso to continue living out her passion of working for social justice, especially by welcoming and accompanying immigrants.  They are currently searching for an attorney.

Immigration policy and its effects change rapidly and it is our goal to stay engaged and informed so we may be able to best love our immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ.

El Paso District Immigration Summit:  A UMC Immigration Summit was held on November 21-22, 2019 prior to the UMC Immigration Task Force meeting, hosted by Bishop Bledsoe & the El Paso District.  The summit began at Lydia Patterson Institute and continued to Juarez and Las Cruces.  Read More: Immigration Summit 2019

Strategically Moving Forward: Bishop Border Strategies Letter

Financial Donations: Please send your donations to the NM Conference Office.
Griselda Sandoval, Treasurer, 11816 Lomas Blvd. NE, ABQ 87112.  Churches may use the online payment dropdown menu.

Supplies:

There are basically 3 categories of items:
a. General Donation Items
b. Travel & Personal Packs
c. Snack Packs

They can be assembled personally or at local churches and donated. Otherwise, all of these items, along with the General items can also be separately donated individually or in bulk quantities.

You may also donate to El Calvario UMC online through their Amazon Wish List: Click here.

Volunteers:
If you speak Spanish, have medical training or drive a large multiple passenger vehicle, you are greatly needed.  The people in Las Cruces & El Paso have been serving this need for many months and would love new volunteers to join them in this ministry of welcoming the stranger.  If you do not fit these parameters, your help is also needed to clean, cook, sort supplies, transport people, etc.

El Calvario:  To volunteer at El Calvario in Las Cruces, contact Susana Torres, Volunteer Coordinator and Admin Officer, at 575-524-1230 or zuziettorres@gmail.com.