RESPONDING TO DISPLACEMENT WITH SENSE OF PLACE
When migrants present themselves at the United States border in El Paso, TX, there are three possibilities: they are imprisoned in detention, forced to await a hearing in Mexico, or released to a shelter in El Paso.
I have spent six months of this year serving people seeking asylum in each of these conditions.
My service has included:
Receiving refugees released from immigration detention to shelters, providing first aid and natural medicine, making the first call to family members, arranging for travel out of El Paso
Acting as the point of contact for asylum-seekers in detention, accompanying them in asylum proceedings through weekly visitation, liaising with family members, retrieving legal documents
Serving meals and giving humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing violence and waiting in dire circumstances in Mexico to present themselves at the border
In addition to this service, my mission is to share on-the-ground stories that give a deeper sense of place of the border. As an eyewitness, I have written essays and poetry and created educational curriculum to share stories of the real impact of US border policy on the lives of migrants and residents right now.
I have done all of this work using only my own resources for six months. I am committed to continuing this work through June 2020 but cannot do so without your support.
My basic costs of living are $1,200 monthly. I live simply in a studio apartment several blocks from the border, riding my bike for transport. An additional $800 monthly goes towards direct expenses associated with migrant service such as purchasing necessities for migrants in detention (books, money for calls out of detention, postage for legal documents), donations for migrants in shelters (medicine and food) and transportation to detention centers and shelters.
Please consider supporting me in this important work!
Everyone who supports me will join a circle receiving weekly writing, poetry, and videos on the good work that many are doing right now in El Paso, Texas.