First Responders at the Border: The Vital Role and Untapped Potential of a Reception System for Families and Asylum Seekers

First Responders at the Border: The Vital Role and Untapped Potential of a Reception System for Families and Asylum Seekers
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm PDT
Register for Details

This program has passed.

Note: Due to a GCIR board meeting, this edition of our Monthly Immigration Policy Call series has been moved to a Tuesday. Future calls will continue to be held on the third Thursday of the month.


Despite the administration’s policies to deter and punish asylum seekers, families continue to arrive to the United States and Mexico in search of protection. While family separation policies are being revisited and restrictions on asylum grow tighter, families who are apprehended and detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after crossing into the United States through the southwest border are being released to a loose network of border shelters who serve as the first humanitarian responders. The shelters provide critical short-term support, ensuring that people are received with a hot meal, shower, and shelter, as well as helping to arrange onward travel. Most families pass through the shelters in one to two days, though some house families for weeks or even months.

Since 2017, UNHCR has engaged with this group of shelters in the U.S. in order to foster the connection and information-sharing between the shelters and provide a space to strategize solutions to new and ongoing challenges. Among these key challenges include how to envision these shelters as a coordinated reception network for asylum seekers and how best to coordinate onward movement with support for legal services and other needed wrap around services.

Please join us for an in-depth conversation with Lindsay Jenkins of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on these issues and the regional perspective for asylum seekers.


  • Lindsay Jenkins, Protection Officer at UNHCR Regional Office for the USA and the Caribbean


Registration closes at 4 p.m. PDT, Monday, May 20, 2019.

Please note we have a new registration system. You must log into your account to be able to register. If you have not logged in before but have previously attended a GCIR program, you can follow the 'Forgot Password?' link to request a new password, as you most likely already have an account in our system.


Photo: A family who are seeking asylum in the United States eats a meal at the Tijuana-San Diego border. Daniel Arauz / Creative Commons.


If your grantmaker network is interested in becoming a co-sponsor, please contact Melissa Nop.

Thank You

 A special thanks to GCIR members and funders for their support in making this program possible.