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Asylum Seeker Assistance Project

Albuquerque is receiving asylum seekers from the U.S. southern border.

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Our close proximity to the border means that Albuquerque is an important crossroads for immigrants and refugees who are legally seeking asylum. ICE screens the asylees, processes their request for asylum, and releases them on their own recognizance. To keep them from being released onto the streets, churches and non-profit organizations in El Paso have organized a hospitality network. When they exceed their capacity, they reach out to the faith  and non-profit community in Albuquerque for help. Asylum seekers usually come through Albuquerque for a night or two and then continue on their journey to all parts of the United States. They travel by bus and airplane with the help of family or friends who have agreed to sponsor them. 

The migrants come from many different countries. They are tired and hungry, but in good spirits and grateful for the warm hospitality they receive in Albuquerque. We expect more asylum seekers and a larger need for more volunteers to consider how they can help.

On behalf of Mayor Keller, we thank you for helping us share this opportunity with the larger community to get involved in any way they can as we help families who are fleeing hunger and violence to find peace and love. Please share this message with your community and invite them to contact us for more information.

Ways to Help


There are multiple opportunities to volunteer such as: Family Liaison (Spanish required), Interpreter/translator, transportation, medical team and project volunteers.  

Volunteers should be 18 and older and pass a background check and sign an injury/liability waiver. 

Find volunteer opportunities.

Migrant Relief Fund

The City of Albuquerque continues to offer support to the faith-based organizations and nonprofits who are encountering migrants passing through Albuquerque in need of assistance. Albuquerque is an immigrant-friendly city, and we respond to the needs of unhoused individuals and those migrants seeking to get to other destinations regardless of their background.

If you would like to support the City's efforts​ helping migrants make a tax deductible donation to the One Albuquerque Fund: Migrant Relief Fund     

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation directly to a non-profit, see the list below:

United Voices for Newcomer Rights: Improving Community Responsiveness to Newcomers.   Phone:  505-500-4727

ABQ FaithWorks:  Albuquerque faith congregations working in community to welcome the stranger and address short and long-term needs of asylum seekers and people experiencing homelessness.   Phone: 505-457-1728

Catholic Charities: This organization is dedicated to finding solutions to some of the most pressing social challenges individuals, children and families face, regardless of race, religion, country of origin, disabilities, gender, age or sexual orientation.  Phone: 505-724-4670

Lutheran Family Services:  Refugee and Asylee Programs are dedicated to helping those vulnerable individuals and families rebuild their lives by equipping them to achieve self-sufficiency within their first year in the United States and fostering integration into their new communities.     Phone:  505.933.7032

Las Cumbres – Wings: Provide holistic services to survivors of torture and their families living in New Mexico.   Phone: 505-819-1643

Saint Michael’s All Angels:   Phone: 505-345-8147 ext 120

NM Immigrant Law Center: Legal Services for Immigrants.   Phone: 505-247-1023

Centro Savila:  to improve the mental health of our community by ensuring access to linguistically and culturally relevant, quality mental health and prevention services, education and healthcare professional development. Phone: 505-312-7296


Beatriz Elena Valencia, Liaison, CABQ Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

How We Helped in 2019

  • Hospitality sites were needed to provide shelter for 2-4 nights, while the refugees waited for their sponsors to purchase bus or plane tickets for them to travel to where their sponsors live in the U.S. This included:
    • An intake process
    • Access to showers and cots/beds
    • Spanish speaking volunteer to help connect families with their sponsors and help arrange travel.
  • Each hospitality site needed a site coordinator who received training on how to manage a team of 15-20 volunteers at a hospitality site. Site coordinators dedicated up to 20-hours per week, or more. Spanish-fluency was a must for this role, as was volunteer management experience and shift work that includes daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Shuttle transportation from the hospitality sites to the Greyhound bus station and to Sunport airport. Church vans were ideal for this purpose especially during peak travel times of 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Donations were appreciated, especially monetary to help cover the cost of hotels. Groups of volunteers who didn't have a suitable space to shelter refugees have used budget hotels for convenience because they provide beds, linens, showers, and space for feeding groups. The cost of hotels averaged at $2,000 per group of 50 refugees for the 2-4 night average stay.