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Mayor Keller, Archbishop Wester, Local Charities Call on Albuquerque to Come Together in Support of Asylum Seekers

March 13, 2019

In the spirit of the #OneAlbuquerque movement, Mayor Tim Keller, Archbishop John C. Wester, and a range of local service providers and charity organizations came together today to give an update on asylum seekers traveling through Albuquerque and how Burqueños can help.

A total of just under 300 migrants have been moving through Albuquerque over several days on their way to sponsor families and homes throughout the United States, where they will await review of their asylum applications. The group is made up of families with children and individuals who presented themselves at a point of entry to formally and legally request asylum according to the process laid out by federal law. As the agencies that handle these claims and oversee operations at the border continue to see high numbers of asylum applicants, additional groups are likely to travel through Albuquerque again in the coming weeks and months.

The efforts are being funded by private charities and non-profit organizations. The City of Albuquerque is helping with resource coordination and communications in the efforts. Mayor Keller also provided information to Albuquerque residents who want to lend a hand to those in need.

Mayor Tim Keller said, “These families have traveled thousands of hard miles to forge a new life for their children in the U.S. Many have nothing except the clothes they were wearing when they legally applied for asylum at the point of entry. We know that many Burqueños want to help out and support these folks on their journey. Albuquerque is a welcoming city to people from all walks of life, and our residents are stepping up again to help them on their way to other American cities and showing what One Albuquerque is all about.”

“I have never been so proud to be a citizen of such an amazing community,” Archbishop John Wester said. “These brothers and sisters of ours have inalienable rights given by God Himself.  We believe they are created in the image and likeness of God, as we all are, and so we reach out to them, and keep them in prayer.  We need to continue the donations; give your time, talent or treasures, or all three – whatever you can do -  to help our brothers and sisters.”

Over the last three days, there has been a steady stream of material donations, and the organizations who are helping support the costs of housing and travel are principally in need of online contributions. Organizations are working to guide assistance toward where it is most needed, and also to minimize unneeded support that can bog down the help efforts.

Here are some of the specific ways the public can pitch in:

  • Donate online to Catholic Charities or Annunciation House.
  • Mail a gift card to Casa de las Comunidades
  • Volunteer your time with Albuquerque Interfaith by emailing [email protected] or email Catholic Charities at [email protected]. Organizations with vans are encouraged to volunteer transportation services.
  • If you would like to help provide meals, new or gently used clothes for children and petite adults, or toiletries please email [email protected] or drop donations off at St. Therese Catholic Church Parish Hall at 212 Mildred Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87107.

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