YMCA Houses for Migrant Children
The YMCA Houses for Migrant Children project began in 1991 to support children under the age of 18 who have been deported by U.S. authorities after crossing the northern border of Mexico without documentation. In Ciudad Juarez, it has been a shelter for migrant mothers and their children since 1995. (Cano, 2021)
YMCA has several houses around the US-Mexico border, Tijuana, Baja California; Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua; Piedras Negras, Coahuila and; Agua Prieta, Sonora that, provide care and lodging, food, health services and access to media. (Immigration Nexus)
According to their website, they have a special model of care:
– Open door shelters; where minors have freedom of mobility, contrary to DIF shelters that do not allow their departure. Notwithstanding this policy, due to the violence in some border cities such as Ciudad Juarez and Agua Prieta, the government has determined regulations that prevent the YMCAs from maintaining the open door policy. It is important to note that children can maintain telephone communication with their families at all times.
Casa YMCA receives children between 12 and 17 years of age once they have been repatriated and designated by the Chihuahua State Attorney General’s Office for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (Procuraduría de Protección de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes del Estado de Chihuahua).