How to Help Refugees in the Border Region

Many of you have asked how you can help Central American refugees throughout the border region. Below is 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 support the refugees, most of whom are mothers and children, who are arriving with little more than the clothes on their back. Our border communities are opening our hearts and lending what help we can, but the need is great and your support is extraordinarily important.

The refugees are arriving to the border and presenting themselves to border agents (they are not attempting illegal entry) and are seeking humanitarian relief from life-threatening danger in their home countries. Though most are arriving in Texas, many are now being transported immediately to other parts of the border to be processed. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents throughout the border are processing the refugees into their system and issuing them Notices to Appear (NTA) in court. Everyone will have their day in court to pursue any and all 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 the ways that you can help.

In California

In Arizona

In New Mexico

In Texas

Background on what is happening in Central America: 

Author: Communications Director

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  1. I would like to add that another action that concerned citizens can take is to come volunteer in Central America, working with organizations that are — and have been for decades — working on inproving conditions in the economically disadvantaged communities where so many of these kids are coming from. Work on root causes is hugely important, and individuals who spend time in the places where immigrants are coming from will be better educated and more prepared to make a real difference in the future of immigration policy.

    US El Salvador Sister Cities is one of those organizations that has been working in Central America since the 80s, and we continue to accept volunteers. Anyone interested should email us at

    Thank you for the great work!

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    • would love to come to central america, my passport is needing renewal can you lead me to a site to help out on the texas border? I mean physically helping, have many skills to offer.

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  2. I plan to bring this up during Public Comment on the Sylmar Neighborhood Council meeting later this month. What should I ask for them to do? My phone number is 1-818-515-8541. Thank you.

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  3. I have room in my home to help house some of these kids. Is that even possible. No kids deserve to be detained for wanting a better life. How can we help.

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  4. How can I become a foster parent for these kids? Can’t find any information anywhere!

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