Tucson Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of Tucson, Faith Leaders from Across the US, Accompany Migrants Demanding Biden Restore Asylum
Friday, September 17, 2021
Contact: Gia Del Pino, Kino Border Initiative- Director of Communications
Phone: 520-208-7716
Email:  gdelpino@kinoborderinitiative.org
What: Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger will bless and accompany various migrant families who will present at the DeConcini port of entry to request asylum. Asylum seekers waiting in Nogales, Sonora, joined by faith leaders and advocates from at least five states across the US, march in solidarity to demand that the Biden Administration finally respect their right to asylum and end the policies forcing them to wait in danger in Nogales. This is part of a bi-national march, “Restore Protections for Holy Families: Prophetic Action to #SaveAsylum” with echo actions happening in Washington DC, Seattle, and Chicago leading up to October 2 , when it is anticipated that the CDC will decide whether to extend Title 42. 

When: Saturday, September 25th, 2021 at 2:00pm PST

Where: From Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, Av. Adolfo López Mateos 357, Fundó Legal, Centro, 84030 Ejido del Centro, Son., Mexico to Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry, Nogales, AZ

Who: Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger of the Diocese of Tucson, other faith leaders from five states across the US, asylum seeking migrants waiting in Nogales, SN, MX, #SaveAsylum Coalition, and the Kino Border Initiative. 
The #SaveAsylum coalition, consists of asylum seekers, community members, faith leaders, and immigration advocates from Mexico and the U.S, whose action is rooted in the values of 'civil initiative', a term coined during the Sanctuary Movement, and our responsibility as civil society to recognize and publicly condemn the US government’s violation of international law as well as the 1980 Refugee Act.
The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a bi-national organization located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. KBI provides humanitarian aid to migrants in Nogales, Sonora and engages in education and advocacy on both sides of the border with a vision of promoting humane, just, and workable migration.

Media Availability: Various asylum seekers, Sister Tracey Horan, SP, Associate Director of Education and Advocacy at the Kino Border Initiative, thoran@kinoborderinitiative.org, Pedro De Velasco, Director of Education and Advocacy, pdevelasco@kinoborderinitiative.org, Gia Del Pino, Director of Communications, gdelpino@kinoborderinitiative.org


NOGALES, SONORA, MX – On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson, will bless and accompany various migrant families who wish to present at the DeConcini port of entry to request asylum. This action is part of a larger cross-border march, “Restore Protections for Holy Families: Prophetic Action to #SaveAsylum” that takes place one day before World Migrant and Refugee Day (September 26, 2021), as declared by the Vatican, and one week before the redesignation of Title 42 deadline set for October 2. Title 42 has been in effect since March 2020, and its stated purpose is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through the southern border. It is only one of a series of inhumane and illegal U.S. policies implemented in the last few years that have limited access to asylum and subject them to months-long waits in dangerous conditions in Mexican border cities.

Already fleeing serious violence in their communities of origin, many of the people waiting for asylum in Nogales have experienced further attacks and insecurity. Migrants who regularly come to the Kino Border Initiative for humanitarian services have been robbed, kidnapped, threatened, and beaten in the time they have been forced to wait in Nogales, and the organized crime in the city has only become more brazen in its targeting of migrants. “What we’re living here is not a life. Especially for the children. They’re just children,” said one of the migrant women organizing the march. “All we want is a little bit of freedom.” 
The migrants organizing the march expressed that pervasive racism is what allows U.S. politicians and the public to continue the policies that subject migrants to harm and treat their lives as expendable. “We see it, really, as a racist act. Because there’s no logic behind what they’re saying, that [the border closure] is because of COVID,” said one of the migrant organizers. Another migrant organizer said, "We know this is a pretext, because other people can enter and leave whenever they want because they have papers in the U.S. And they don't demand to provide proof, at least to show that they are not infected with COVID. I believe this is racism. I want to ask those who want to unite to this cause, to participate in our march to Restore Protections for Holy Families."

The march comes on the heels of some very positive recent developments to the restoration of asylum protections for migrants waiting at the border. In late August, a federal judge ruled that CBP's practice of "metering" was unconstitutional. The lawsuit was brought forward by Al Otro Lado , a California-based immigrant rights advocacy group, claimed that metering violated the Fifth Amendment by depriving migrants arriving at port of entries along the border the right to due process. Kino Border Initiative contributed to this lawsuit by providing a declaration and technical expertise. Yesterday, the federal court blocked Title 42 expulsions for migrants seeking asylum, issuing a preliminary injunction in Huisha-Huisha vs. Mayorkas.