ABOUT MINORITY HUMANITARIAN FOUNDATION
Humanity knows no borders.
The mission of Minority Humanitarian Foundation is to provide a humanitarian response to the issues facing asylum-seekers and refugees on a global scale. MHF believes that all humans should be treated with dignity and respect, despite country of origin.
Our services include, but are not limited to:
• Rapid response border pickups
• Family Reunification
• On-the-ground relief efforts at family refugee shelters and LGBTQ shelters
• Ongoing case management
• Client advocacy
Minority Humanitarian Foundation's primary purpose is helping refugees, asylees & asylum seekers on both sides of the US/Mexico border with relief aid, transportation, and transitional services. We provide a wide range of services, so please let me take a moment to walk you through the entirety of what we do. We first make contact with the refugee families when they arrive in Tijuana. Currently asylum seeking people from all over the world must wait on the Mexico side of the border to be processed for asylum. This can take months, or it can take years. We have a sustained presence at many of the major refugee shelters, and bring donations on a weekly basis. We bring down crucial relief aid these refugee shelters count on to operate, including food, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, medical supplies, hygiene products, and baby diapers. We also work very closely with several LGBTQ refugee shelters in TIjuana, bringing both relief aid and gender-affirming comfort items for the trans asylum seekers.
When asylum seekers are finally allowed into the US for processing they are held in ICE detention for a period of several months, and then released from detention at the San Ysidro border. We are there waiting. At the San Ysidro border it is an everyday occurrence for ICE busses to release refugees, asylum seekers and asylees onto the street in the middle of the night. This is their first time in a new country, and they are simply being dumped on the street with no ability to alert their friends and family they are being released.
We provide them with quick and safe transportation from the border to our immigrant drop-in center in Lemon Grove, and then to a hotel room. At our immigrant drop-in center we feed them, provide them with clothing, suitcases, hygiene items, baby formula, diapers, and essential items. If someone needs medical assistance we will take them to the doctor and ensure they get proper care before traveling. From here we arrange their travel, via plane, train, bus or Lyft, to their family or sponsor in the United States. Our partners Miles4Migrants are instrumental in helping us get plane tickets when the family cannot afford the expensive last minute tickets. If the person we pick up has nowhere to go or their sponsor refuses them we contact the organizations we work with to try and help find them a long-term sponsor.
There is no official post-release program in place for people being released from ICE detention. We are usually the only organization waiting for the ICE bus when we go down to the border to pick up a client. We may have knowledge that one person is being released, and end up helping a dozen. This is not uncommon. We will get home usually around 1AM, knowing that if we hadn't went to the border that night there could have been a dozen people stranded at the border in a completely new country. Often they do not speak any English. There is a huge, blaring need for what we are doing and that need is not decreasing, it is actually increasing.
Many of the refugees, asylees & asylum seekers we work with are women, children, and members of the LGBTQ community. We also use our network to connect them with legal services in the city they will be living in. Our organization has provided services and case management for thousands of refugees, asylees & asylum seekers. Funds are used to purchase hotel rooms, transportation, luggage fees, and basic needs for the families. The result of our program is life-changing to those we help.
We help all refugees, asylees, and asylum-seekers who are released from custody into the United States. We often meet beneficiaries of our services through the immigration attorneys we work with. We are sent clients from attorneys, bond funds, family members. They rely on our organization for our post-release relief work services. We provide the next phase of transitional help for these families by physically picking them up at the border and ensuring their safe and dignified passage to their final destination in the United States.