The last volunteer brigade leaves Tijuana A border crisis and a global pandemic strand asylum-seekers

photo by Leslie Layton
At Chaparral, the Tijuana border crossing to San Diego, a sign shows the website URL that records the last number called. Asylum-seekers are assigned numbers and wait for months for a chance to make their case.

by Leslie Layton

It is 7 a.m. on a cold, grey day in early March at the border crossing that connects Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego, Calif.

Some 25 migrants have gathered on the sidewalk below the port of entry. These are families on a waiting list, each with an assigned number in the 3,000 range. If any of their numbers are called today, they’ll get a turn to cross to the United States, and at some point — in what will probably be a very brief visit — a chance to make their case for asylum. read more

Asylum processing suspended as travel restrictions increase Migrant management strategies are a tool, not a solution

photo by Leslie Layton
Migrants in crowded shelters on the Mexican side of the border who are pursuing asylum in the United States may be stuck there indefinitely.

by Lucy Hood
The United States has implemented travel restrictions on an unprecedented scale in recent weeks that immigration experts say are riddled with loopholes and devised in a way that puts vulnerable populations at risk.

This is especially true at the U.S.-Mexican border, they said, where tens of thousands of migrants living in shelters in northern Mexico now have a very slim, if any, chance of pursuing their asylum cases in U.S. immigration courts. read more

Struggling to find hope at Yuba County Jail Chico activist visits a third immigrant detainee, one of a trio of "castaways"

jail photo from Faithful Friends

by Chris Nelson

The man I met during a late October visit to the Yuba County Jail has a kind face, wears glasses and has a neat, graying hairstyle. He was the third inmate I’ve met through a visitation program run by Faithful Friends, a group that arranges visits for immigrant detainees.

As a nurse, I know that anecdotal information does not make a truth. Yet, I’m struck by the similarities among the three men I’ve visited, and I see truth emerging through the presence of these castaway humans. read more

Chicoans trained to monitor immigration enforcement NorCal Resist holds training at Chico cafe

photo by Leslie Layton
Autumn Gonzalez

by Leslie Layton

Autumn Gonzalez, an attorney who helps lead the Sacramento-based NorCal Resist group, spoke at the Blackbird Chico cafe this evening on how community members can support immigrants and monitor ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) during raids or other actions that might occur in this area.

Gonzalez said residents of the North State can support immigrant communities by acting as observers during ICE detentions, or by conducting a simple protest during immigration enforcement actions or by accompanying asylum seekers who need support and/or rides to appointments and court. Those who attended today’s “Chico Accompaniment & Rapid Response to ICE Training” session were invited to fill out applications to become NorCal Resist observers who contact a hotline if they think they’ve spotted ICE in their community and then record or take notes if officers question or detain people. read more

Teens lead Chico immigration policy protest High schoolers worry that "history will repeat itself"

photo by Leslie Layton
Students from PATCH (Politically Active Teens of Chico High) staffed a voter registration booth.

by Leslie Layton

In matching teal-colored T-shirts, a group of Chico teens Saturday led some 100 people on a downtown march to protest immigration policy and conditions for refugees at the border.

The teens, all of whom are students at Chico High and Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, said they chose teal to reflect the color in the Statute of Liberty torch-holder for a protest designed to recall the conditions that led to the Holocaust. read more

Nelson finds her visit with immigrant detainee “poignant” Detained immigrants in Yuba City need human contact, visitation group says

photo by Chris Nelson
Visitors entrance at the Yuba County Jail

by Chris Nelson

It was serendipity that I visited the man I did at the Yuba County Jail Monday in Marysville.

I got there four minutes too late to see the man I had planned to meet; the second name I had was a man who had been transferred elsewhere and the third candidate wasn’t available for a visit until later in the day. All three of those men had Latino surnames. The man I did get to visit was from Vietnam. read more