Community-based organizations in El Paso are leading the effort to meet the growing needs of migrant families — children and adults — seeking asylum due to the current conditions in their home countries, particularly in Central America. El Paso, Texas is home to countless immigrants, and has been at the forefront in working with authorities to assist these migrant families.
Last year, families arriving to the U.S. - MX border were separated under the Zero Tolerance Policy. Migrant children were placed at a temporary shelter in Tornillo, Texas, 40 miles east of El Paso, and placed in custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Thousands of families were separated and it remains uncertain whether all families have since been reunited. While the policy ended in June 2018, families continue to face hardships upon seeking refuge at the U.S. - MX border. Under the newly issued policy, Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) most commonly known as Remain in Mexico, migrants are being returned to Mexico. This brings new challenges such as access to legal counsel, and continues to separate families.
A donation to the Migrant Families Relief Fund will help provide for short, mid- and long-term needs ranging from basic needs to shelter and legal services. The El Paso Community Foundation will accept donations for all of the services listed below, based on their timing and need. All credit card and administrative fees will be waived — 100% of donations will pass through to provide direct services, with due diligence performed on the grants by a Nationally-Accredited Community Foundation.
Donations will be disbursed to:
• Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services — Provides direct legal services to the immigrant children separated from their families.
• Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center — Provides legal services to immigrants including refugees and asylum-seekers, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification.
• Annunciation House — Provides refuge to migrants released from detention.
• Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee — Helps pay immigration bonds that release migrants from detention, helping them reunite with their families, avoid bail bond lenders, and improve their chances in immigration court.
Local Artist— Patrick Gabaldon to help raise money for the fund
Mr. Gabaldon has generously lent his talents to the Migrant Families Relief Fund by allowing the Fund to use his colorful graphic design. All proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will go to the Fund.
An attorney by day and artist by night, Patrick Gabaldón is an El Paso native who sees himself as a product of the beautiful culture and spirit found in the borderland. He makes it his quest through art to show others the colorful interpretations of the cross-border culture that inspire him. He blends vibrant city urbanscapes with vast expansive skies and earthy tones of the West Texas Chihuahuan Desert. His work has been exhibited in restaurants, art galleries, the El Paso International Airport, Southwest University Park and the University of Texas at El Paso.