SAN YSIDRO, Calif. – One South Bay church that has spent the last year helping refugees has recently begun to assist Ukrainian families seeking asylum at the border.
An estimated 400 Ukrainians are waiting in Tijuana to seek asylum at the San Ysidro Port of entry, according to Al Otro Lado, an organization helping immigrants.
Pastor Jackie Wilson with Getsemani Church says this year, they have helped over 1,000 people, an average of 80-130 asylum seekers every month.
“If we aren’t there for them, sometimes they go straight to the airport with no money, with no phones, and with no way to contact their family. Sometimes they wait at the airport for two to three days without food, without clothes, and no way to contact their families–and it’s really sad,” said Pastor Wilson.
The church, which is made up of about 40 people, has turned an old office into a supply closet for the asylum seekers. Offering each person a backpack with a change of clothes, shoes, and hygiene products.
“Most of the time they don’t have anything, only the papers that they give them when they are in the detention center,” said Pastor Wilson.
The church is able to offer them a one-night stay at Baja Hotel, as well as a longer stay on cots inside the church if need be.
The CDC announced Friday that Title 42, a ruling used to expel immigrants from seeking asylum, will end on May 23. Pasto Wilson says they are ready for an influx of migrants, but they need other organizations to step up to help them too.
If you would like to help the church, you can contact them on their website.