UC Berkeley Chicanx Latinx Student Development, or CLSD, and Cosecha will be collecting donations for Central American migrants until Nov. 8 at the César Chávez Student Center in Room 245.
Thousands of migrants from Central America are on their way to the United States or Mexico to seek refuge. A group of migrants left Honduras in October and has faced police repression from Mexican authorities. President Donald Trump has described the migrants as “an invading horde.”
The goal of the project — which began collecting donations Oct. 26 — is to deliver the donations to the Central American migrants seeking refuge before they reach the U.S. border, according to CLSD student organizer Javier Lopez Quintana.
“If we want to criticize governments, we need to help those who are impacted,” Lopez Quintana said.
Cosecha is a nonviolent movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity and respect for the undocumented immigrants in the United States, according to the organization’s website.
So far, the organization has received food, clothes and feminine hygiene products.
“The supplies we are getting are for the Central American migrant caravans, but in general, gathering resources for folks in need is a universal thing that we should carry with us,” Lopez Quintana said.
Lopez Quintana said this is the first time CLSD and Cosecha have collected donations, and they will decide to collect more donations depending on when the refugees reach the border. He added that they are trying to send the donations to the migrants before they reach the border.
Campus lecturer in Chicano/Latino studies Pablo Gonzalez expressed concern regarding the United States’ militarized patrol presence at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the potential humanitarian crisis that could take place once refugees reach the border.
“With solidarity (and) awareness from different communities throughout the United States and Mexico, we can hope to avoid these things,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that solidarity from the Berkeley community involves becoming informed about U.S. involvement in Central America — both historically and in the present moment — as well as understanding why these people are seeking asylum.
“This won’t go away anytime soon,” Gonzalez said. “We’re going to see more and more caravans.”
Campus graduate student Vanessa Quintana said the country needs to change the narrative used to describe refugees seeking asylum in the United States. She added that the United States should take responsibility in its role in the destabilization of political systems in Central America.
“To be Chicanx and Latinx is to be mestizo and indigenous to this land, and so our people are not crossing a border, they’re simply migrating across their own land,” Quintana said.
Staff writer Andreana Chou contributed to this story.