Frequently Asked Questions
All the migrants/staff/most volunteers are vaccinated. We MUST wear a mask crossing the border. Everyone in the shelter has a mask, including the kids. They wear them off and on. Volunteers do the same. We used to be sprayed going in and out and they have bottles of sanitizer but they lightened up on strict procedures. There is a nurse on staff and she takes care of testing and those who test positive. We need information on new residence.
There are no safety concerns in the neighborhood of the Posada. We are only two miles inside the Border. We are going by taxi to the shelter and return by taxi. You are only going to one store which looks like a small Ralphs. We spend the day outdoors in the courtyard of the shelter. The shelter looks like a motel 6. There are bathrooms in every room so bathrooms are plentiful. Border Compassion pays for lunch for visitors and residence on the day of a cross-over. We eat with the asylum seekers.
Passport or documents needed:
The only document needed is a passport. Even an expired passport works if you are a US citizen. Passports are not required to enter the country but are required to show when leaving the country.
Dress casually. Tennis shoes or sandals are best. Check the weather. Summer months are brutally hot and thus Border Compassion does not sponsor cross overs in July, August and September.
Gifts to Bring:
Every faith-based community is asked to bring $2000 for groceries for the month and during the visit go shopping for the food with the Director of the shelter who has a car. A truck picks up the food purchased and takes it to the shelter and the migrants unload. There is no heavy lifting. Volunteers help at the market but there is no heavy lifting.
Prior to the trip, I will discuss with the Director what is needed. We have had groups do the following: Games for kids such as paints, bubbles, coloring books. Is there a teacher in the group for ESL? How about crafts? Spanish speaking can talk with the adults and I do have some folks who are bilingual but I suggest looking around for a few in your group. The Director of the Shelter likes to welcome groups. She will share her story and the history of the shelter.
AEveryone in the shelter has registered for an immigration hearing in Tijuana which is the Port of entry for the USA. Some have waited in this shelter for 8 -12 months. Our pro bono lawyers have crossed 210 in 2021 -22.
Do Not believe the Border opens and everyone runs across? Ridiculous!
Asylum Seekers have to be called up for their immigration hearing and they have to be on the list! When they are called for their appointment they must have a rapid test for Covid, show proof of vaccination, and submit the name and address of their sponsor in the USA. If approved to cross into the USA, Jewish Family Services coordinates their travel to destination.
Do you have to speak Spanish?
No. It is helpful if you have a partner who does speak Spanish, can plan and bring games to play with children.
Preparing for the trip:
I am your hostess and I will go with you and help guide you across the border. If needed, I am available to do zooms with your group prior to the trip. I am available to group leader(s). I will help you plan your groups pilgrimage into Mexico.
Distance from Calexico:
Several groups come from a distance. Some prefer to come the night prior and stay at the Holiday Inn in Calexico with me! We go out to dinner and plan for the day. Some even want to spend the night after the trip and then go home the next morning. The Santa Barbara group did that. Others prefer to go early in the morning and get to the Holiday Inn by 9:30. We leave the shelter around 3 pm and get across about 4 pm and arrive at the hotel by 4:30 pm.
Orange County, San Bernardino, Palm Desert, San Diego folks go and come on the same day. Those from LA or Santa Barbara or Bay area often stay one night usually prior. Others spend two night and take advantage of a meal or two together and a day trip into Mexico with the migrants.
We have had folks fly into El Centro and meet us at the hotel before crossing and we have had others fly into Palm Springs and drive two hours to the border.