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Volunteers Pledge To Help Migrants Seek Asylum For At Least 40 Days And 40 Nights

Migrants line up to eat at El Barretal, Dec. 4, 2018.

Photo by Jean Guerrero

Above: Migrants line up to eat at El Barretal, Dec. 4, 2018.

A group called the New Sanctuary Coalition is kicking off a campaign to help migrants seeking asylum.

"I just arrived to San Diego last week and I went straight down to the border after training here at the center," said Felipe Cook who is a trainer with the New Sanctuary Campaign. "We’re working in El Barretal, Tijuana and some of the other refugee camps that are across the border basically advocating for the people there."

Each week the New Sanctuary Coalition trains volunteers who will be helping migrants navigate the asylum process.

"These roles can take on a variety of things depending on your background," Cook said. "Our Spanish speakers are going to become interpreters down across the border, people who may have some legal background can work at the pro se clinics to make sure people are able to advocate for themselves. And we also have very mundane roles like drivers, cooks, and those kinds of roles that have to support the movement in order for it to be successful."

RELATED: San Diego Rapid Response Network Offers To House People Seeking Asylum, Help With Legal Fees

The group has made a commitment to help Central American migrants for at least 40 days but could stay longer.

"I’ve done a number of different things from sorting clothes, separating it out for children, women, men," said volunteer MJ Engel. "And I’m also doing things like you know cooking and making sure that our volunteers are also ready to go and nourished because all these things are so important to make sure that the movement is strong."

If people are interested in helping out, the coalition is still looking for volunteers.

Volunteers with the New Sanctuary Coalition will be working in San Diego and Tijuana over the next few weeks.


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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