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Latina Muslim Women Building Shelter for Migrants in Tijuana

In response to the growing number of migrants, a Latina Muslim group is raising money to build a shelter across the border in Tijuana, Mexico for both Muslim migrants and deported women and children of all faiths, Religion News Service reported.

“There’s a lot of need not just with immigrants but with people who are deported,” said Sonia Garcia, founder of the Latina Muslim Foundation.

The foundation, a nonprofit based in San Diego, had raised more than $30,000 by Thursday afternoon through its LaunchGood page to purchase a warehouse it plans to convert into a shelter.

The shelter will help people of all faiths and will have a special focus on migrant and deported women with children.

For Garcia, it’s important for migrants and deportees in Mexico to feel empowered despite not being in the US.

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The shelter will be open to people of all faiths as well as Muslims in the area.

“There are Muslims who do not feel safe in the shelters they were staying at because they face discrimination against their faith,” said Mayte Gutierrez, a volunteer with the Latina Muslim Foundation.

Latina Muslim Women Building Shelter for Migrants in Tijuana - About Islam

Muslims gather in midday prayer for “Pray Beyond Borders” on Oct. 27, 2019, along the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. RNS photo by Alejandra Molina

Help Across the Border

As Latina Muslims, Gutierrez said they can relate to migrants across the border “because our families migrated here to America.”

“We saw the need to do something because we want our Muslim brothers and sisters to know and feel that Mexico is a place of opportunity as well.

“We are there to help them whether they choose to remain in Mexico or seek asylum in America,” Gutierrez said.

Recently, Muslims have been campaigning to support migrants and their families.

A few months ago, American Muslims kicked off a new campaign to bail out detained migrant parents, helping to reunite their families as soon as possible.

CelebrateMercy, working alongside the National Bail Fund Network, manage the crowdfunding campaign, titled Muslims for Migrants. Campaign advisors are Imam Zaid Shakir and Imam Omar Suleiman.