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Humanitarian Assistance Efforts for Central American Refugees: How to Help

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Have you been wondering what you can do to help Central American migrants who have fled violence, abuse, and poverty to seek refuge in the U.S.?

Please find below a list that the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) has compiled of places where you can donate supplies, volunteer your time, or make a financial contribution to provide assistance to Central American refugees, many of whom are mothers and children, who are arriving with little more than the clothes on their back.  Border communities are opening their hearts and lending help where it is needed, but the need is great and your support can play an important role.

 Many refugees are arriving to the U.S. southern border and presenting themselves to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents—not attempting illegal entry—and are seeking humanitarian relief from life-threatening danger in their home countries. Although most are arriving in Texas, many are being transported immediately to other parts of the border to be processed. CBP agents throughout the border region are processing the refugees into their system and issuing them Notices to Appear (NTA) in court. These individuals will have their day in court to pursue possible humanitarian claims, which could include asylum, visas for victims of human trafficking or violent crimes, or other relief. Legal service providers are gearing up to represent them with support from new funding from the Justice Corps.

Once issued an NTA, refugees are turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which makes a custody determination. If the refugees have no criminal record and have a family or sponsor that can take them in, then they are released from custody either under their Own Recognizance (OR) or, in limited cases, with payment of a bond. They are directed to report to ICE within a certain number of days in the jurisdiction of their destination where they will be scheduled for court. Upon release from ICE, the organizations below are providing temporary shelter, travel assistance, and other assistance that these families might need.

Here are some of the ways that you can help.

In California:

In Arizona:

In New Mexico:

In Texas:

Thanks again to the Southern Border Communities Coalition for compiling and sharing these important resources.