NMAC Asylum Seeker Assistance Update

Thank you, those of you who have given more than $2,000 since the close of annual conference to the ministry of assisting asylum seekers. We are so grateful for the continued support.

You may have heard that the number of asylum seekers coming across the border and leaving detention centers has decreased recently. With this decrease, El Calvario UMC to has been serving 70 people per week for the past few weeks.

The decrease that we are seeing is related in part to the Remain in Mexico policy, more formerly known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). With this policy, many asylum seekers are being returned to Mexico to await their court dates associated with their asylum cases. In Juarez alone, 8,000 migrants have been enrolled in the Remain in Mexico program waiting for their asylum court dates in El Paso. The shelter of our sister denomination, the Methodist Church, is housing 130 people in a space designed to shelter less than 50. The need in Mexico is great, and we are working to establish relationship with the Methodist shelter in Juarez to learn how we can best support them. We will share this information with you as we receive it.

The construction of an ICE detention center facility in Estancia, NM, will present another opportunity to serve, so stay tuned for more information.

The work to repurpose Houchen Community Center into the Borderland Hospitality House continues, as does the creation of a local Justice for our Neighbors (JFON) site. Part of the work of JFON is to provide accurate legal advice for clients and communities about immigration. As we work toward establishing a JFON, we also would like to offer educational opportunities to the conference, such as an Immigration 101 webinar. Check back in future the newsletters for more information on this opportunity.

If you are interested in supporting our emerging immigration ministries, please contact Rev. Nicole Crouch at deacon.ncrouch@gmail.com.