Extending a hand to those in need is the Burqueño thing to do

When the public sees news stories of asylum seekers arriving in the United States, they don’t always get the whole picture. The news often fails to cover a core aspect of this situation: the human beings arriving at our border looking for safety and a better future. As an immigrant to this country, I had […]

Extending a hand to those in need is the Burqueño thing to do

When the public sees news stories of asylum seekers arriving in the United States, they don’t always get the whole picture.

The news often fails to cover a core aspect of this situation: the human beings arriving at our border looking for safety and a better future.

As an immigrant to this country, I had to overcome many barriers to be where I am today.

As a child, I was helpless watching my parents unable to communicate because of a language barrier and we all lived in fear of getting sick because we lacked access to proper health care.

Now as an adult, our family feels despair as the president of this country goes on weekly tirades and calls our community criminals and animals.

Asylum seekers experience all of this, plus more.

When I volunteered at a shelter welcoming asylum-seeking families last week, I came in contact with a mother and her 8-year-old son, Carlos.

She told me they traveled for thirty days all the way from Honduras. All they had with them during that thirty-day journey was a backpack with an extra change of clothes and relevant documents.

These families do not speak English yet, have minimal possessions, are tired and sometimes sick from the grueling journey. Yet, somehow they are still expected to figure out their way across the country to reunite with their sponsors.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents will release them from detention camps if the families have a sponsor that is willing to vouch for them, but they release these families with no way to fend for themselves.

They are not provided shelter, food, transportation, medical assistance or any other resource, and when they arrive to the United States they are held at gunpoint and jailed.

This is no way to treat humans.

The physical and mental toll the families, especially children, have gone through will follow them for the rest of their lives. We cannot change what they have experienced on their journey, but we can help them begin their healing process by helping them get to their families, wherever they may be.

Albuquerque must lead by example and pick up where our federal government has failed.

The collaboration between the New Mexico Dream Team, the City of Albuquerque, the Interfaith Coalition, and all those involved in welcoming and helping these migrant families get to their final destination is an amazing example of the welcoming culture our city, and state, is known for and sets the example for how the rest of the country should open their arms.

This coalition, together with Albuquerque City Councilman Pat Davis*, co-introduced Resolution-19-143 which looks to allocate a quarter million dollars to help fund the humanitarian efforts of the community.

This is money that is coming out of unallocated city funds, meaning no existing programs were altered to provide this additional help.

It is the right thing to do.

I’ll never forget the moment when Carlos, right out of the shower, ran back to our donated-clothing room because he forgot socks, and I saw his feet covered in blisters.

I felt a rush of emotions.

I felt betrayed, betrayed because our government received this child after the journey and did not even bother showering him.

I also felt relieved.

Relieved because for the first time I had seen Carlos smile thanks to the genuine desire of Burqueños to extend a helping hand.

Luis Leyva is a senior at the University of New Mexico and an Advocacy Leader with the New Mexico Dream Team.

*Pat Davis is the former executive director of ProgressNow New Mexico, which helps find funding for NM Political Report. No one at ProgressNow New Mexico then or now has editorial input on NM Political Report.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she will call the Legislature into a special session this summer to address public safety legislation that did…
Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management finalized its controversial public lands rule on Thursday. This rule is controversial because it allows for conservation leasing…
Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order on Thursday to withdraw more than 4,200 acres of land in Sandoval County near Placitas from mineral…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury announced a bill on Thursday that would, if enacted, establish judicial ethics to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judicial Ethics…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership. Gabrielle Uballez…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report