Ways to Support Ministry to Migrants Along the U.S. – Mexico Border
Updated to October 27, 2021
As thousands of migrants per month are approaching the U.S. – Mexico Border from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California, churches and ministry organizations in border towns and beyond have come together to help. We’ve compiled some resources below for an introductory explanation of what is happening and why:
- View this short film, Oh Mercy, to gain an understanding of how current border policies are impacting individuals on the ground.
- Listen to this conversation with World Relief’s Matt Soerens and Jenny Yang as they explain root causes of migration, Title 42/ pandemic impacts, and practices taking place for waiting immigrants and asylum-seekers–including unaccompanied children.
- Ethic and Religious Liberties Council (ERLC) published this explainer on unaccompanied minors at the border, causes for the 2021 surge, and actions currently being taken by the Biden administration as they seek to mitigate the current situation.
- The ERLC also released a podcast with former Director of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement, Jonathan Hayes, about how our government shelters unaccompanied children and how Christians should think about the issue.
- This explainer by the National Immigration Forum uses CBP released data to explain apprehension numbers and what happens to single adults, families, and minors at the border.
- This video featured on Women of Welcome’s instagram gives a behind the headlines update on the current state of the U.S.-Mexico border, especially pertaining to unaccompanied minors.
- WORLD Radio produced this short conversation describing administrative, push and pull factors contributing to the border surge, along with challenges facing migrants in crossing the border.
- Bethany Christian Services produced this video explaining the journey of an unaccompanied minor and the role of transitional foster care.
- This Relevant article speaks to the church’s responsibility and obligation in responding to the events at our border, specifically concerning unaccompanied minors.
- The Christian Community Development Association Southwest network hosted a conference discussing many issues related to the border. You can view selected clips here or watch segments on serving unaccompanied minors, asylum seekers, responding with compassion to those at the border and ways you can get involved at the border.
- EIT sent this letter to President Biden, calling for administrative action that upholds both current law and dignifying actions toward unaccompanied minors.
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED
Organizations to Support
- Abara Frontiers supports churches providing temporary shelters in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez for over 10,000 asylum seekers each month. Abara networks with site directors, understands current needs, collects & distributes donations, and connects volunteers. They also offer immersive experiences to further understanding of border realities and needs. Support Abara Frontiers.
- 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 focuses on holistic, binational immigration in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. This faith-based organization provides support for migrant men, women and children by re-establishing migrants’ dignity and connecting groups and denominations with ways to help support Christian ministry at the border. Support Kino Border Initiative.
- The Global Immersion Project’s Borderlands Fund in San Diego and Tijuana partners with Mexicans on the ground in Tijuana, mobilizing a national network to show up in very tangible ways to needs at the US-Mexico border. They also support long term solidarity efforts to create lasting solutions, such as offering leadership to a network of Mexican churches serving as migrant shelters, facilitating job creation for migrants remaining in Tijuana, and offering tangible humanitarian supplies. Support Global Immersion’s Borderlands Fund.
- Buckner International is a non-profit organization assisting with coordinating donation logistics. You can find ways to give supplies and financial donations here.
- The SBC’s Send Relief has compiled ways for churches and Southern Baptists to get involved at the border.
- LEGAL SERVICES
- Migrants seeking asylum and awaiting court dates often need trustworthy 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. By supporting these organizations, you can help provide individuals with the court representation they desperately need.
- 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 such as Camino Immigration Services.
- VOLUNTEER AT A SHELTER
- PROVIDE TRANSITIONAL FOSTER CARE
- Bethany Christian Services places unaccompanied children in caring foster homes until they can be reunited with their families. These temporary placements provide children with a safe and secure environment following the intense challenges inherent in traveling to the US border. Learn more about becoming a transitional foster parent.
- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops contains a state-oriented list of immigrant and refugee foster care opportunities. Learn more about transitional foster opportunities near you.
This is an incomplete list of the various opportunities for ministry at the border. This page will continue to be updated. If there are additional ministries that you would like to see added, please send that info to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: Carlos Jasso, Reuters