Private New Mexico camp preps to house migrant children

·2 min read

GLORIETA, N.M. — A private Christian camp in northern New Mexico is looking for volunteers and donations as it prepares for the potential arrival of immigrant children from the U.S.-Mexico border.

A page on the Glorieta Camps website states that the organization was asked by the White House and U.S. Health and Human Services Department to house and feed potentially 2,400 unaccompanied children.

Glorieta Camps executive assistant Josh Nelson told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Tuesday he was unsure when a contract with the federal government would be finalized.

President Joe Biden is under pressure to address immigration concerns as thousands of children and families have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border and packing holding facilities.

The Border Patrol is apprehending more children daily than Health and Human Services is placing with U.S. sponsors, leading to a severe backlog. The Border Patrol generally is not supposed to detain children for more than three days, but Health and Human Services lacks space.

For the first time Tuesday, the Biden administration allowed journalists from The Associated Press and a crew from CBS inside its main border detention facility for migrant children in Texas. The tour revealed a severely overcrowded tent structure where more than 4,000 people, including children and families, were crammed into a space intended for 250.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office did not immediately say if the federal government has reached out for additional help or if other locations in the state were being considered for temporary housing.

Brian Sayler with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management told The Associated Press last week that the state was in regular communication with U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as federal emergency management and homeland security officials.

“New Mexico is requesting that these federal agencies stand up a co-ordinated response to address any increase in border activity,” he said at the time, adding that the state also has been talking with local emergency managers and nongovernment groups.

Glorieta Camps, operated by a Christian faith-based non-profit called Glorieta 2.0, sits on a 2,400-acre property near Santa Fe. Facilities include more than 100 buildings for sleeping, eating, meeting, worship and playing, according to the camp's website .

Camp employees and other groups were calling on the public to help provide supplies and were seeking volunteers to help care for the kids. The New Mexican reported that a number of social media posts were requesting toiletries, bath towels, water bottles and clothes for 13- to 17-year-old boys.

The Associated Press