Ways to Support Ministry to Migrants Along the U.S. – Mexico Border
Resources compiled by Alan Cross and EIT staff
May 28, 2019
As thousands of migrants per month are approaching the U.S. – Mexico Border from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California, churches in border towns and beyond have come together to help. A few descriptions of some of what is happening and why …
- Evangelical Immigration Table leaders recently visited ministries in El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. Heather Sells of the Christian Broadcasting Network was with them and shared this report: Churches at the Border: ‘God Is Calling Us to Step into a Gap’
- BORDER CRISIS 101: ANSWERING YOUR BIGGEST QUESTIONS ABOUT THE IMMIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDER by Christin Wright-Taylor
- Mindy Belz of World Magazine discusses the situation at the border in asking “How Full Is Full?”
- Sophia Lee of World Magazine examines the root causes of migrants coming to the border for asylum in Dangerous Journeys, Contentious Crossings.
- New Mexico Baptists Respond to Migrant Crisis
- Iglesia Bautista West Brownsville, Texas collects supplies and donations for migrants and for local ministries working with migrants at the border in Brownsville, Texas. They are also doing work in Mexico with churches and ministries working with migrants as they travel and gather at the border waiting to apply for asylum. More information on how Baptist churches in Texas are responding can be found here.
- Choosing the Kingdom by Josh McCoy about how churches in Phoenix, Arizona are receiving migrants and helping them get to their next destination.
- Are migrants coming to your town? A Snapshot of Where Migrants Go After Release Into the U.S. – Washington Post. After migrants enter at the border, they go to places across America. You can help provide assistance and ministry where you are by contacting your local ministry centers, Latino churches, and local agencies who work with immigrants. A bit of research is required, but in all likelihood, migrants are coming to you.
A few ways you can help …
- El Paso Encounters connected with Ciudad Nueva: El Paso Encounters has become a supportive entity to recruit new churches to the effort of providing temporary shelters in El Paso for over 10,000 asylum seekers each month, networking with site directors, understanding needs, collecting & distributing donations, connecting volunteers, and hosting groups interested in border immersion & volunteer experiences. We are also connecting with churches and organizations across the border in Ciudad Juárez in order to support their efforts. The scope of the challenge has far outweighed our capacity to be as effective as needed.
- Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas is a Catholic ministry that is receiving hundreds of migrants a day. What is unique here is that they are helping coordinate migrant care with dozens of other Christian churches including a network of Evangelical churches in the area. Annunciation House serves as the administrative hub and up to 30 churches work with them to receive migrants released by ICE and help them on to their next location. This network of churches is in need of donations and volunteers (starting again in August) who will come assist for periods of time.
- San Diego Baptist Association Ministry to Migrants in Tijuana, Mexico. Led by Juvenal Gonzales, this ministry is facilitating the disbursement of resources to churches who are housing migrants coming to Tijuana. They have been feeding hundreds per day and have been resourcing the overflow of migrants on the Mexico side of the border. Read about the ministry here. You can give to support this work here.
- Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico – Faith-based organization which provides support for migrant men, women and children. They focus on restoring dignity to migrants who are approaching the border or who have been deported. This is a Jesuit Catholic ministry that helps connect many groups and denominations with ways to help support Christian ministry at the border. Donate to their work here.
- Council on Immigrant Relations is a ministry based in Raleigh-Durham, NC that has identified ministries and ways to help along the border from California to Texas and into Mexico. A giving page for various ministries and projects can be found here.
- Salvation Army Shelter in Yuma, Arizona: The City of Yuma has asked for The Salvation Army’s help in providing food and shelter to people in need who have permission to travel in the United States and are awaiting transport to their final host destinations. Click here to see a video about the shelter. To give, visit this page or text “YumaCompassion” to 51555.
- The Global Immersion Project’s Borderlands Fund in San Diego/Tijuana. In close bi-national partnership with Mexicans on the ground in Tijuana, Global Immersion is mobilizing our national network to show up in very tangible ways in this moment of crisis on the border, as well as continuing in long term solidarity to mobilize a movement that continues in the work far beyond this unique moment. Specifically, the Borderlands Fund offers leadership to a network of Mexican churches who have been converted to migrant shelters, facilities job creation for migrants remaining in Tijuana and offers tangible humanitarian supplies.
DOJ Recognized Legal Services State-by-State
Migrants seeking asylum who have passed credible fear interviews and are waiting for their court dates are often in need of good legal representation. When engaging with them in ministry, one way to help is to make sure that they are well represented before their upcoming court date. The U.S. Department of Justice has a list of recognized organizations and accredited representatives by state and city that can be found HERE.
Many of these legal service providers are providing services with a distinctly Christian ethos, including those connected with World Relief, The Wesleyan Church’s Immigrant Connection, Immigrant Hope (affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America) and other local entities (like Camino Immigration Services in Orange County, CA).
This is a very incomplete list of what is happening in ministry at the border. This page will continue to add more ministries as we become aware of them and find out more information about how people can get involved. Please email information on ministries that you are aware of and would like to see added at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: news.nationalgeographic.com