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Asylum Seeker Assistance Project

Albuquerque is not receiving asylum seekers at this time.

Due to the changes at the border, Albuquerque is not hosting asylum seekers at this time. If the situation changes, we will post updates on  this page. Volunteers and donation efforts are currently on hold.

How to Help

Our close proximity to the border means that Albuquerque is an important crossroads for refugees from Central America who are legally seeking asylum. ICE screens the refugees, processes their request for asylum, and releases them on their own recognizance. To keep them from being released onto the street, churches and non-profit organizations in El Paso have organized a hospitality network. When they exceed their capacity, they reach out to the faith community in Albuquerque for help. Asylum seekers 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. They travel by bus and airplane with help of their sponsors.

In our experience, those traveling tend to be a parent with a child, ranging in age from infants to teens. They are tired and hungry, but in good spirits and grateful for the warm hospitality they receive in Albuquerque. With the weather warming up, we can expect more asylum seekers and a larger need for more volunteers to consider how they can help.

Volunteer

Register to Volunteer

Donations

The donation drop-off center will stop receiving donations on July 8 due to the changes on the border that are preventing asylees from being released. Any final donations that have already been collected will be accepted through Friday, July 12. Beginning July 16, the hours of the donation center will be reduced to Tues-Thursday 9-4 for sorting. Volunteers are always welcomed and appreciated to help sort the donated items.

Monetary Donations:

Items can be donated at St. Francis Xavier Church, located at 820 Broadway SE. Enter one block north of Pacific on Santa Fe (north side of Church) through the first gate on the right (south side of street).

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.

Contacts

Michelle Melendez, Director, CABQ Office of Equity and Inclusion

Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Coordinator, CABQ Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

How We're Helping

  • Hospitality sites are needed to provide shelter for 2-4 nights, while the refugees wait for their sponsors to purchase bus or plane tickets for them to travel to where their sponsors live in the U.S. This includes:
    • 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 will need a site coordinator who will receive training on how to manage a team of 15-20 volunteers at a hospitality site. Ideally, site coordinators can dedicate up to 20-hours per week, or more. Spanish-fluency is a must for this role, as is 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 are ideal for this purpose especially during peak travel times of 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Donations are always appreciated, especially monetary to help cover the cost of hotels. Groups of volunteers who don’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 averages at $2,000 per group of 50 refugees for the 2-4 night average stay.