Refugee Support Opportunities Across the State: Updated May 12

1 refugees in TJThis page will be updated as changes in refugee support options are announced.  We have done a tremendous job of organizing locally to support the work being done in ABQ and Las Cruces. There are numerous ways in which you can support the Asylum Seeker relief efforts.

ABQ will be opening a new dormitory facility at the Expo soon.  With the City Council’s passage of R-19-143, $250K will be made available to bolster the ABQ relief effort and to launch the Expo dormitory site.  And there is a great way that Santa Fe residents can contribute.

Santa Fe Kids Corner. As ABQ readies the Expo to house Asylum Seekers, the Mayors of ABQ and Santa Fe have identified a discrete way in which Santa Fe residents can support the relief effort: equip a corner of the Expo to serve as a child play area. To donate, there’s a special fund to assist migrants now up at the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Go to the foundation web site, https://www.santafecf.org/ and click on the Fund for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Let’s Do This.

There are other ways you can support Asylum Seekers even if you don’t live in ABQ.

  • Nob Hill Indivisible has organized volunteers and online donations that go to ABQ Interfaith and Catholic Charities.  Donations for Asylum seekers can be made at indivisiblenobhill.com.  If you live in or around ABQ, the indivisible link also has information about how you can volunteer as part of a medical team or volunteer in other capacities.
  • A volunteer is needed who might be able to shelving to build or assemble shelving to expand capacity to store used goods and supplies being used in ABQ. Please reach out to Jan 505-328-1730 text is better.
  • Supporting Las Cruces.  You can contribute to the even larger asylum seeker relief effort in Las Cruces. I received an email from one of their advocates saying that in the past two days over 300 new asylum seekers had sought temporary housing and support.  Donations are badly needed to support shelter operations, expanded staffing and transportation needs. Donations can be made online here. Donors can also contact Gospel Rescue Mission or visit the nonprofit’s website.  
  • Annunciation House in El Paso. I did some research and found that while Las Cruces is the most impacted NM city, it is in El Paso where the biggest crisis exists.  As ICE detention facilities filled, the number of refugees being released by ICE has increased. Annunciatino House is the organization that pays for the hotel rooms in the hotel shelters, including Las Cruces. They operate solely on donations—no state or federal monies.  As of the end of February 2019, 400-700+ refugees per day are being sent to Annunciation House in El Paso, from there Annunciation House coordinates with shelters in Las Cruces, ABQ and elsewhere so refugees can stabilize and await transportation to sponsor families.  So, Annunciation House needs financial contributions very badly. Click here to donate. Their donate button is on the right of the home page.  Let’s Do It.
  • Somos Un Pueblo Unido and Santa Fe Dreamers. Click those links to make a contribution to them.These organizations also need financial support to help protect our Santa Fe immigrants from continuing ICE raids that divide families and deport our neighbors.

Why We Need New Immigrants and How They Contribute to Our Community

A system is being set up to transport newly released asylum seekers and to get them to their host communities. To help you understand how and where to help these refugees, we have been sharing posts on Next Door, Santa Fe Community Bulletin Board and asking others to share broadly. In doing so, we have encountered a very few objections, mostly people who object saying that we should take care of “our own” first before using resources on “undocumented” people or other more disparaging terms. Some of those who have been disparaging are driven by myths about refugees and so here, we provide some facts about refugees from the Refugee Council of the US.  Click here for more, but for those who worry about expending resources on refugees.This brief passage is designed to share with people you may know who do not understand the importance of supporting these asylum seekers as they work their way to their sponsoring communities.

  • The average workforce participation rate of refugees is 81.8%, well above the national rate of 62%.
  • Refugees are more than twice as likely as U.S.-born workers to hold jobs in general or “other services”—a sector that includes a variety of service roles such as dry cleaning, housekeeping, and machine repair.
  • Several industries rely heavily on refugee workers to support their economic stability. Refugees revitalize industries, and low rates of refugee arrivals of refugees significantly impairs economic growth.
  • Refugees contributed $21 billion in in taxes in 2015 alone. Over a 20-year period, refugees contributed $21,000 more in taxes than the initial investment to resettle them.
  • Public benefits usage declines with the length of residence, and after ten years only 3% of refugee households received cash welfare benefits, compared with 21.3% of the general population.
  • A report in Tennessee found that refugees contribute more than they consume in benefits, paying almost twice as much in tax revenues – including for schooling and health care – in the past two decades alone.
  • Home ownership rates among refugees who have lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years are comparable to U.S.-born families and increases total housing values by millions of dollars.

It is also well worth noting that most refugees are fleeing political oppression, climate change driven changes that prevent their historic food production, and other factors where most often the US, the International Money Fund, the World Bank and the corporatocracy have been factors in creating those conditions. These people are victims coming here for relief and they deserve our welcome and support, an ‘investment,’ that the list above demonstrates will be repaid over and over. So, let’s do our part.