Taos immigration advocates prep for supply run to U.S.-Mexico border
As tensions rise over immigration and a large group of Central American immigrants approaches the United States, local Taos activists are gearing up to help the families and children in need along the border.
Members of Sin Fronteras Nuevo Mexico will be holding a bake sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 9) at Cid’s Food Market to raise money for a trip they plan on taking to El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico to deliver donated goods to migrants housed in shelters while seeking asylum in the United States. The group has taken goods twice before to the border and is currently collecting donations for its upcoming trip in mid-November.
“The idea for Taos County to support this initiative is to create awareness,” said Sin Fronteras president Jose Gonzalez. “Ultimately, we all come from different places, we share different cultures, backgrounds and this is more of a human need that is out there. They’re lacking a lot of support down south.”
Gonzales began his efforts on Sin Fronteras roughly one year ago and has been focusing on support roles such as translation and case management assistance for immigrants in Taos County who are eligible for citizenship. In addition, Gonzalez has worked with DACA renewal for several clients in Taos County in the past.
The group’s previous donation trip to Mexico gathered enough goods to fill most of a Uhaul van with supplies for shelters both in Mexico and the U.S. Gonzalez and his crew started collecting the donations in Taos County following reports of children and families being held in detainment locations along the U.S. border with Mexico as well as refugee shelters in Mexico.
“It touches my heart and I’m really blessed that I can help these immigrant families,” said vice president Julie Sena. “Just being a part of it makes myself feel so good.”
Sin Fronteras is currently on the track to being an official nonprofit organization, according to Gonzalez, and could be expanding services to writing and reading courses in the future.
“I’ve come to know that there are families who don’t know how to read or write and the idea is to support them by having some classes available to help them,” Gonzalez said.
The group is currently collecting donations of shoes, jackets, non-perishable food items and other basic goods at Hinds and Hinds Budget Storage, near Smith’s on Paseo del Pueblo Sur, unit number 49. A representative will be at the location from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day this week.
Gonzalez wanted to separate his efforts from the group that is coming up from Central America and has said that it is not his intention to directly support it, but rather the families who are still awaiting citizen status in the U.S.
In a past trip to the border, local immigrant advocate Jose Gonzales was able to recruit the help of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps to load goods. Now, Gonzales is trying to take his venture into the nonprofit realm with his organization Sin Fronteras Nuevo Mexico.