Safe Space

By: Roxane Ramos

More than thirty years ago, Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson began a Sanctuary Movement that ultimately included over 500 congregations. Once again, they are at the forefront of moral action, offering safe haven to immigrants threatened with deportation.

On May 13, Daniel Neyoy Ruiz sought refuge with his wife Karla and 13-year-old son Carlos, a U.S. citizen, at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. He was the first immigrant to take sanctuary there in three decades.

Back in 1982 in response to the threatened deportation of more than 500,000 Central Americans back to their war-torn homelands, Southside Presbyterian pastor, Reverend John Fife, declared the church a sanctuary for refugees fleeing the violence. He invoked an age-old multi-denominational tradition of providing safe haven to those in need and those in danger, the “stranger(s) among us,” but in reality, our neighbors, co-workers and friends. Ultimately, 500 congregations joined the movement, and approximately 14,000 immigrants turned to Southside Presbyterian for help. A successful lawsuit resulted in altering U.S. asylum laws to include Central American petitioners seeking refuge.

Stones and tokens of wishes and prayers surround the outdoor Migrant Shrine at Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

Stones and tokens of wishes and prayers surround the outdoor Migrant Shrine at Tucson’s Southside Presbyterian Church.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

This past spring, the movement was resuscitated, and again, Southside Presbyterian led the way. With the arrival of Daniel and his family, the New Sanctuary Movement (or Sanctuary 2014) was born. According to Reverend Alison Harrington, the church’s pastor, “It’s less about the four walls, and more about the community that is sheltering them with advocacy, love and support.”

A resident of Tucson for 14 years, a taxpayer, and a police-trained neighborhood watch volunteer, with a job, no criminal record, and an American-born child, Daniel was pulled over for a smoking tailpipe. When he could not present documentation, he was taken into custody and spent a month in detention. There, none of the 100–200 detainees was allowed to shower or receive first aid; they were subjected to chilly temperatures, day-and-night music, and frequent insults shouted by agents. Karla sold their car to pay the bond, hire a lawyer, and bring Daniel home.

After one failed—and mismanaged—attempt to grant a stay and close his case, a new lawyer, public defender Margo Cowan, from Keep Tucson Together (a volunteer legal clinic run under the auspices of No More Deaths which was co-founded by John Fife in 2004) fought Daniel’s deportation on prosecutorial discretion grounds. A 2011 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo permits the use of discretion to close a case when a migrant has no criminal record and is not a threat to the public. This same memo advises ICE to refrain from entering “sensitive areas,” such as churches, schools and hospitals.

Scripture reminds visitors of the call to welcome “strangers.” Photo by Roxane Ramos.

Scripture reminds visitors of the call to welcome “strangers.”
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

With his unblemished record, Daniel was finally granted a work permit and a year-long stay of deportation a month after seeking sanctuary. Two other immigrants, one in Phoenix and one in Chicago, were also granted reprieves. But eight others wait for resolution of their cases. One of them, Rosa Robles Loreto, the mother of two and an Arizona resident for more than a decade, has been in sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian since August 7. In all, 24 congregations in 12 cities have declared themselves part of the movement and another 79 congregations are providing financial support, expanded services, legal assistance, and networking on behalf of the movement.

Today’s Sanctuary Movement differs from the earlier one in a number of ways, not only in the composition of the populations affected, but also in the openness of the activities. In the 1980s, the civil wars in Central America were partly funded by the U.S., creating a situation in which offering asylum to refugees was tantamount to taking responsibility for the bloodshed; the Sanctuary Movement had to proceed in an “Underground Railroad” way, keeping activities under wraps and protecting the identities of those seeking refuge. These days, the precise language of the 2011 ICE memo, the front-burner status of immigration reform, and the sheer numbers of people affected by deportation orders make publicity a tool. Moreover, in our internet age, information about the plight of immigrants with children and families in the U.S. can be—and is—transmitted instantaneously.

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, adorns a pillar at the center of the shrine. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexico, adorns a pillar at the center of the shrine.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

With last month’s announcement of President Obama’s executive order to grant three-year stays of deportation to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants, that still leaves 6 million without recourse. And with 1,000 deportations each day, there is a volume and urgency to the situation that is increasingly difficult to ignore. The New Sanctuary Movement is modest by earlier standards, but these congregations stand ready to act on their faith and protect those who seek refuge. In the meantime, our political leaders and legislators have failed to respond adequately to the issue. History has shown that the Sanctuary Movement, guided by conscience and bolstered by community, as Reverend Harrington pointed out, will not back down, and will continue to offer shelter and solace.

To Learn More: For more information about Sanctuary 2014, and sign petitions on behalf of those in sanctuary, see: http://sanctuary2014.org/

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Finding Home on the Border: A Photo Essay

By: Roxane Ramos

Traversing thousands of miles to make their way to family members and economic opportunities in the U.S., migrants stay in makeshift shelters and leave behind signs of the journey’s harsh realities.

Bellarmine students walk in the footsteps of the migrants during their immersion experience with the KBI.

Bellarmine students walk in the footsteps of the migrants during their immersion experience with the KBI.

A ramada can provide life-saving shade in the desert heat.

A ramada can provide life-saving shade in the desert heat.

Abandoned structures along the border provide protection from the heat in the summer months and cold winds in winter.

Abandoned structures along the border provide protection from the heat in the summer months and cold winds in winter.

The road to a better life is full of hopes, dreams, and essential resourcefulness. Near the U.S.–Mexico border, deserted buildings, ramshackle lean-tos and shaded areas provide shelter for migrants making the crossing. These structures are inadequate at best, but the migrants gravitate toward the protection they offer and the opportunity to rest and share stories, until they have a place they can once again call home. Often sleeping during the day and moving at night, these travelers have left everything behind, and to make their journey as unencumbered as possible, discard any items that are worn, battered, or no longer serviceable. These possessions become artifacts, marking the route of the migrants and the places they’ve stayed.

A Bellarmine student inspects the ruins of a house near the border where migrants have taken shelter.

A Bellarmine student inspects the ruins of a house near the border where migrants have taken shelter.

A shady area speaks of many who have rested here.

A shady area speaks of many who have rested here.

Dark water bottles, left by humanitarian organizations and now empty, are frequent sights along the border.

Dark water bottles, left by humanitarian organizations and now empty, are frequent sights along the border.

In April, Ryan Demo traveled to the border for a 5-day KBI immersion trip with his teachers, Joe Cussen and Chris Cozort, and seven classmates from Bellarmine College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school in San Jose, California. Then a senior, he documented their experience in photos, a selection of which we include here. The students had a chance to engage the border first-hand, touring the city of Nogales, Sonora, meeting deported migrants at the KBI comedor, and helping to serve meals there. The walk in the desert was particularly eye-opening, as it is for so many immersion visitors. “Hiking along the border was a bit surreal for me,” Ryan remembers. “Seeing all the abandoned shelters and personal items while trying to fathom how much strength it takes to not only endure that brutal desert crossing, but also to leave one’s entire life behind in hopes of a better one, really showed me the human side of the immigration issue.”

Old plumbing fixtures no longer provide water.

Old plumbing fixtures no longer provide water.

The abandoned debris of former residents is piled high to make room for waiting and sleeping.

The abandoned debris of former residents is piled high to make room for waiting and sleeping.

A student pauses where a migrant has shed a backpack.

A student pauses where a migrant has shed a backpack.

Both his transformative KBI immersion experience and his service-oriented education at Bellarmine have influenced Ryan deeply. As a freshman majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, he is also a member of the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a group committed to working with local partners to design and implement engineering solutions in developing parts of the world. Thanks to Ryan for the generous permission to use his photos.

KBI volunteers serve breakfast from the small kitchen in the KBI comedor, the source of thousands of nourishing meals for migrants throughout the year.

KBI volunteers serve breakfast from the small kitchen in the KBI comedor, the source of thousands of nourishing meals for migrants throughout the year.

Father Pete speaks with migrants at the KBI comedor.

Father Pete speaks with migrants at the KBI comedor.

Bellarmine students serve the migrants who have gathered for a meal.

Bellarmine students serve the migrants who have gathered for a meal.

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Up Close: The People of the KBI

By: Roxane Ramos

~ José Cuevas, KBI Comedor Volunteer

Profile.JoseCuevas

From early on, José Cuevas has volunteered at the KBI’s comedor, serving meals each week to the deported migrants who arrive there. He calls the work a vocation, and this form of faith in action is a family activity—his wife Alma, son José Luis, and grandsons Gyselle, José Luis, Jr., and Juan Pablo often join him; even his sister in Los Angeles collects clothing and sews back packs for migrants to hold their modest belongings.

José first began feeding those in need in 1994, an effort that grew out of monthly gatherings of 14 friends who decided to start the Association of the Friends of San Fernando in Colinas del Sol near Tijuana. “We initiated this dream,” José says of the community center they built and the meal and medical care programs they implemented there. A tailor by trade, he and fellow church members in Nogales, Sonora, where José was born and raised, began distributing meals and clothing in 2000. Years later, he answered the call again by helping the KBI and, ready to open his heart to those in need, continues to follow his “dream” and vocation, as he and his family have done for 20 years.

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Shop for the KBI This Holiday Season and All Year Long

A new online program, AmazonSmile, allows customers to support their favorite charity while they shop.

Amazon.smile program

About a year ago, Amazon.com launched AmazonSmile, a way for their customers to designate a favorite charity to receive 0.5 percent of what they spend on the site. This year, the Kino Border Initiative joins the list of charities.
This holiday season, please take advantage of this great initiative by signing up at: http://smile.amazon.com/. Each time you shop at Amazon.com, KBI programs will benefit.
Many thanks for your continuing support, and a happy and safe holiday season to all!

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The Fuller Picture: Contemporary Mexican Photography

A new exhibit which chronicles the Mexican experience opens at the Bronx Documentary Center on November 15. Photographers Fernando Brito, Alejandro Cartagena, Mauricio Palos and Ruth Prieto Arenas cover a vast range of subjects, from family life in the U.S. to border scenes to the harsh reality of narco-crime and murder in Sinaloa. What all the work shares is the common thread of migration, and its deep effects on individuals, families and communities.

Here is the New Yorker article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/us/obama-immigration-policy-changes.html?emc=edit_th_20141115&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68564230&_r=0

For more information about the Bronx Documentary Center, please see: http://bronxdoc.org/

For more information about the photographers represented in the Bronx Documentary Center’s Exhibit, please see:

Alejandro Cartagena: http://alejandrocartagena.com/

Mauricio Palos: http://mauriciopalos.tumblr.com/

Ruth Prieto Arenas: http://www.ruthprietoarenas.com/home

And here are monographs from these photographers available on Amazon.com:

Alejandro Cartagena: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aalejandro+cartagena&keywords=alejandro+cartagena&ie=UTF8&qid=1416067918

Mauricio Palos: http://www.amazon.com/Mauricio-Palos-My-Perro-Rano/dp/8492480947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416068103&sr=8-1&keywords=mauricio+palos&pebp=1416068113147

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A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Legacy of Thanksgiving

By: Roxane Ramos

The pilgrims and Native Americans who celebrated the first Thanksgiving have a lot in common with the migrants of today.

There are many misconceptions about the origins of the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving. For one thing, the now-legendary feast on Plymouth Plantation in 1621 was not a celebration of thanksgiving, but an acknowledgement of a successful harvest. Nor was it a “first”—it was common to set aside a time of thanks well before this Plymouth event, though fasting more than feasting was the order of the day. There were no shoe buckles, no table or utensils, and no turkey. And the notion that the settlers extended a formal invitation to the Wampanoag residing nearby (who were more likely attracted by the revelry and inspired to contribute 5 deer to the party) is pure invention.

The Myth: Paintings such as The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth (1914), by Jennie A. Brownscombe, enshrine a picture of the “first” Thanksgiving that is more sentimental than factual. Public domain image.

The Myth: Paintings such as The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth (1914), by Jennie A. Brownscombe, enshrine a picture of the “first” Thanksgiving that is more sentimental than factual.
Public domain image.

What we do know with certainty is that before those European settlers survived the winter of 1620 and the following planting season (only 50 remained of the original 100), they survived a two-month cross-Atlantic voyage. They were, indeed, pilgrims, travelers who had journeyed a long distance, in this case, to escape persecution and pursue a better life. During this time of giving thanks and sharing abundance, the similarities between those early immigrants and today’s migrants are worth reflecting on.

Like their predecessors, modern-day migrants undertake arduous and lengthy journeys, over land and sea, and are often subject to grave dangers along the way. They are motivated by the same urges to improve one’s quality of life, find gainful livelihood, and flee oppression and violence. And upon arriving at their destination, they are pitted against further challenges that may prove insurmountable, including making a home with their families in unfamiliar, perhaps unfriendly surroundings, and suffering the pain of exile. Today, deportation is also a frequent outcome, and despite all the risks, efforts and expenditures, they may be forced to start again. In most instances, the entire endeavor is a test of survival, and a gamble on “making it” in a “new world.”

Rather than considering the migration of these contemporary pilgrims as a new phenomenon, it’s important to remember that it is simply a continuation of an ages-old human impulse to move—from farm to city, from country to country, from continent to continent—and evidence of a very understandable yearning within us for security, safety and well-being, wherever that can be found. So people migrate as they have done for millennia. The movements of those who were brave, steadfast or desperate enough to take to the road, with all its hopes and risks, have shaped all of human history and culture. It is how, in this country that has memorialized the Plymouth pilgrims’ sacrifices and perseverance in a much-treasured national holiday, the U.S. became the U.S.

The Real Deal: Migrants gather at the KBI comedor to share a meal in a spirit of gratitude for the gifts of safety, nourishment and companionship. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

The Real Deal: Migrants gather at the KBI comedor to share a meal in a spirit of gratitude for the gifts of safety, nourishment and companionship.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

The other participants in that seminal celebration—the Native Americans who taught the settlers how to fish and farm—were pilgrims, too, but their migrations, often to lands far from their original homes, were not voluntary. The forced relocation of native populations is part of any full history of migration in North America, and it touches on another element of the migrant experience, namely, displacement. To leave is one part of migration, to journey another, but to at last settle into a new life in a new land, in any number of circumstances, involves a bittersweet goodbye to one’s former home, and sometimes an extended or permanent separation from loved ones. While other aspects of migration are daunting, the separation of families is heart-breaking, and finding a way to keep families together fuels a big part of the current immigration debate in the U.S. Can we institute a humane and compassionate immigration policy that unites migrants with their children, parents and spouses, rather than coldly discounting those ties?

The connections we have with family, community and the wider world are at the heart of the upcoming holiday—though today, the “wider world” is, in fact, the planet—and find their origins in that 500-year-old harvest festival. The Native Americans shared their knowledge of their land, the pilgrims shared the fruits of their labor, and a satisfying, if short-lived, exchange of resources was forged. Today, we honor interdependence and express our gratitude for what we have by traveling to be with family, volunteering to help others who are not as fortunate, and gathering to share a plentiful Thanksgiving meal.

When Pope Francis recently wrote that the “Church is a pilgrim in the world,” he reminded Catholics and others around the world of the centrality of the journey. The supporters, staff, volunteers and board members of the Kino Border Initiative strive to live up to this ideal. We are all pilgrims, implicated in each other’s journeys and called to make a migration that is at once personal and collective, literal and metaphoric. We are invited to participate in that grand tradition of movement—on a road, in our hearts, perhaps outside our comfort zones—and to gather around a table that seats all of us.

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Giving Thanks

Kino Border Initiative staff, board members, and volunteers as well as the migrants they serve weigh in about what they are thankful for during this season of gratitude.

The migrants gather with KBI staff and volunteers before the morning meal. Photo by Andrea Cauthen.

The migrants gather with KBI staff and volunteers before the morning meal.
Photo by Andrea Cauthen.

“I am grateful for the generous way that the migrants I encounter every day in the comedor share with me their hopes, their smiles, and their struggles. That people who have suffered so much are still so willing to give of themselves to help at the comedor, and to share who they are with me constantly amazes me and is a constant source of grace for me.”

“I had forgotten God. But now, being here, I feel God more present because of the support, food, shelter I receive.”

“La labor de la Iniciativa Kino para la Frontera es de suma importancia y por la cual estoy muy agradecido a nombre de cientos y miles de immigrantes de mi país que han sido ayudados y amparados por toda la gente de la KBI que ya por años han brindado apoyo al migrante. ¡GRACIAS!” (“The work of the Kino Border Initiative is of paramount importance, and I’m grateful on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from my country who the KBI has helped and for so many years. THANK YOU!)

“Recently, I ran into a young man in a Cancun hotel who recognized me right off, and asked if I was still working in Nogales. He told me that the CAMDEP (the comedor) was a big lift when he was down. Throughout the weekend, every time I saw him, he expressed thanks for all we do there. Such a coincidence to encounter each other after 2 years!”

“I am grateful for our hard-working KBI Board of Directors whose goal is to make a permanent facility serving migrants a reality.”

“No sé lo que sería de nosotros sin estas ayudas que nos ofrecen. Nunca imaginé que pudiera haberlo.” (“I do not know what would become of us without such aid they offer. I never imagined that one could have this.”)

Breakfast is served every morning of the year at the KBI comedor. Photo by Andrea Cauthen.

Breakfast is served every morning of the year at the KBI comedor.
Photo by Andrea Cauthen.

“Hearing the stories of the migrants is a constant reminder of how fragile life can be, and how important it is to help each other in times of crisis. I’m grateful for these lessons, and also to be able to live and work near my family in relative safety. It is so easy to forget what a gift that is.”

“I am grateful for the kindness of many who give their time, talents and money to causes they believe in.”

“Kino es lo mejor que hemos encontrado en todo nuestro caminar. Es increíble! Nunca imaginé que pudiera haber algo así.” (“Kino is the best I have encountered throughout our journey. It’s incredible! I never imagined that there could be something like this.”)

“I am grateful and humbled to work with such caring people who have devoted their life’s work to serving others. It is a blessing to be able to play a small part in this important work.”

“Thanks for all you are doing for me. I now believe in the presence of God in my life.”

“I am grateful for the dedicated service offered year-round to migrants by our remarkable staff at KBI.”

“Washing dishes with a migrant woman recently, I thanked her for her help. She in turn said, ‘No, I want to thank all of you: it helps me to help here [with the clean-up]—it makes me feel a little less uncomfortable.’”

“I never imagined this was here. I give great thanks for all these services.”

 

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Father Sean’s 25th Anniversary

By: Roxane Ramos

Father Sean prays with the migrants at the comedor.

Father Sean prays with the migrants at the comedor.

Fr. Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative, entered the order of the Society of Jesus on August 27, 1989, and celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary as a Jesuit this past August. All who have the privilege of knowing Fr. Sean are grateful for his vocation and, of course, his presence at KBI. The KBI Board of Directors presented Fr. Sean with a 2009 bottle of wine from the Kino Winery in recognition of this important milestone.

Father Sean with KBI board members, Fund Development Committee Chair Lucy Howell (left) and Board President Jane Lacovara.

Father Sean with KBI board members, Fund Development Committee Chair Lucy Howell (left) and Board President Jane Lacovara.

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Up Close: The People of the KBI

Tricia Lothschutz, KBI Immersion Participant

Tricia Lothschutz visited the KBI for an immersion trip in October 2013.

Tricia Lothschutz visited the KBI for an immersion trip in October 2013.

By: Roxane Ramos

As the outreach/volunteer coordinator for the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Chicago, Tricia Lothschutz facilitated an immersion trip to the Kino Border Initiative in October 2013. Tricia frequently contributes to YOUCATholic.com and other social justice and faith-inspired sites, and reflects here on her experience at the border and what it means to be a pilgrim.

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.

~Mark Nepo, from The Book of Awakening

Tricia’s walking shoes and those left behind on the camino by a migrant. Photos by Tricia Lothschutz.

Tricia’s walking shoes and those left behind on the camino by a migrant.
Photos by Tricia Lothschutz.

According to Mark Nepo’s definition, I am a pilgrim. I have journeyed and been transformed. There are quite a few journeys in my life that fit this description, one of which was my participation last fall in a Kino Border Initiative immersion experience.

It is said that in order to really understand someone, you need to “walk a mile in their shoes.” After spending a week at the Arizona-Mexico border, participating in the Kino Immersion, my eyes were opened to the devastating reality of the “shoes” in which the migrant and deportee walk.

KBI visitors walk the path of the migrants. Photo by Tricia Lothschutz.

KBI visitors walk the path of the migrants.
Photo by Tricia Lothschutz.

Prior to this experience, I was aware of the border issues, but on this journey I came face-to-face with the injustice of the border crisis, the indignity, pain, and sorrow experienced. All that I saw and learned, and all of the beautiful people I met that week, have remained with me. It is no longer just about the facts and figures of a political talking point, but about the lives and stories of individuals struggling to survive.

With all of this talk about journeying and shoes, I cannot help but think back to our walk in the desert that marked the start of our immersion experience. A walk in the footsteps of the migrants who cross the border into the United States, facing the harsh conditions of the desert—hot days, cold nights, little food or water—and who face the risk of being caught, detained and deported by the U.S. Border Patrol, all for the chance at a better life for their families.

Immersion participants encounter the U.S. Border Patrol. Photo by Tricia Lothschutz.

Immersion participants encounter the U.S. Border Patrol.
Photo by Tricia Lothschutz.

On our desert walk, we were led down an embankment and under the overpass, a place where migrants frequently hide until nightfall, trying to get to safety. There we saw items left behind by migrants: a pair of shoes, bags, pants, water bottles, all evidence of the lives that had passed through this spot. I tried to imagine the fear and pain of those who had passed through here before us, and the desperate circumstances that must have led them to this moment.

After our time in the desert, we made our way back up to our vehicles. As we climbed the embankment, we quickly became aware of the presence of two Border Patrol vehicles, waiting for us. They had received a call about a group traveling in the desert. Upon seeing that we were not at all a group of undocumented migrants, they moved along. This encounter, however, left a deep impression—it was truly an immersion into the reality of the migrants’ experience. After going through so much to get across the border and through the desert, just like that, it would have all been over. We, however, were able to get in our own vehicles and drive away.

This experience came full circle when we went back to our guides’ home for further discussion and prayer. So as not to track the desert dust into her home, she asked us to remove our shoes before entering. When we left, I was the last one out of the house, and so my shoes sat all alone, waiting to be claimed. Before putting my shoes back on, I remembered the shoes left behind in the desert. I took a moment to pray for the owner of those shoes, wherever he/she might be now, and I also said a prayer of thanks for my blessings, grateful that I was not in a situation where I had to leave my shoes behind.

Tricia (fourth from left), with the other immersion participants from throughout the U.S., October, 2013. Photos by West Cosgrove.

Tricia (fourth from left), with the other immersion participants from throughout the U.S., October, 2013.
Photos by West Cosgrove.

This immersion experience certainly challenged me to walk differently. It was a reminder of our call to use the “shoes” we have been given to bring about good; to embrace the ones forgotten; to be a voice for the voiceless; to welcome the stranger; to liberate, educate, love, and stand up for justice, especially on behalf of the immigrant and refugee.

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The Little—and Big—Things

By: Roxane Ramos

The Kino Border Initiative uses all its in-kind donations in the service of feeding, housing and helping deported migrants.

KBI staff and volunteers help the migrants at the comedor select the garments they need. Photo by Roxane Ramos.

KBI staff and volunteers help the migrants at the comedor select the garments they need.
Photo by Roxane Ramos.

We all know it takes a village to accomplish formidable projects. At the KBI, it also takes shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and socks. The KBI is grateful to so many supporters who have donated toiletries, clothing and other necessities over the years. These in-kind donations are a crucial contribution, supplying basic provisions to the migrants who visit the comedor and stay at the shelter. After their long, treacherous journeys, the chance to shave or replace a torn jacket not only addresses the practical issues of grooming and dressing; it helps restore a modicum of dignity and, often, hope.

After the long distances traveled, the migrant need to replace their shoes.  Photo by Larry Hanelin.

After the long distances traveled, the migrant need to replace their shoes.
Photo by Larry Hanelin.

In addition, the KBI thanks donors who have provided office supplies, printers, computers and furniture. These donations help the KBI offices run smoothly, and defray administrative and operational costs.

Toothpaste is distributed for packages the migrants take with them. Photo by Larry Hanelin.

Toothpaste is distributed for packages the migrants take with them.
Photo by Larry Hanelin.

There are all sorts of creative ways to encourage in-kind donations from your church, school or other organization. For Halloween, Brophy College Preparatory instituted “Boo Jean” day—students deciding to wear jeans each brought a pair to donate to the KBI. Their donations mean dozens of migrants will have suitable attire for whatever lies ahead.

A creative way to spur donations: The students of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix either wore jeans on Halloween or brought a pair to donate to the KBI for their “Boo Jean” campaign. Photo from Brophy College Preparatory.

A creative way to spur donations: The students of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix either wore jeans on Halloween or brought a pair to donate to the KBI for their “Boo Jean” campaign.
Photo from Brophy College Preparatory.

During this holiday season, please consider an in-kind donation to the KBI. From shampoo to shoes, from printing paper to toothbrushes, it all helps the KBI help the migrants. Food items are also welcome and right now, juice concentrate and rice would be most helpful. For a complete and current wish list, scroll to the bottom of: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/get-involved/donate/ And to make a donation, please contact Ivette Fuentes at ifuentes@kinoborderinitiative.org or (520) 287-2370, Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 1:30pm.

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