Taos im­mi­gra­tion ad­vo­cates prep for sup­ply run to U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der

The Taos News - - VECINOS - By Jesse Moya jmoya@taos­news.com The Taos News

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.

Jesse Moya

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.

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