Monday night, city councilors voted to allocate $250,000 to provide humanitarian support for asylum seekers traveling through Albuquerque.
In a 6-1 vote, councilors passed a proposal to give $250,000 to fund a full-time asylum services coordinator, grants for non-profits providing aid, and emergency overtime for city employees. No funds will be used for legal services.
Councilor Pat Davis, who sponsored the resolution, said the money is meant for a short-term, one-time project and is just 1/4000 of the city’s $1 billion budget. Still, some councilors had concerns.
“However, what we’re asking for here is a quarter of a million dollars when we have hundreds of people living on our streets. We have homeless children. We have the greatest number in any state of hungry children,” Councilor Trudy Jones said.
Expo New Mexico is opening a facility to help asylum seekers. According to the Albuquerque officials, since mid-February close to 2,000 migrants have come through Albuquerque. Expo New Mexico says they can house up to 240 people. The city of Las Cruces has housed more than 2,000 asylum seekers over the last few weeks.
People in Albuquerque and elsewhere wishing to assist can contact Catholic Charities or visit the
city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs to learn more.