JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar was in Juarez on Tuesday to tour a migrant shelter and attend a reading fair with the wife of the president of Mexico. He was also in El Paso to visit a U.S. Border Patrol’s temporary processing facility near the border wall.
Mexican officials briefed Salazar on the services migrants receive at the Kiki Romero shelter in Central Juarez, said Santiago Gonzalez, head of Juarez’s Human Rights Office, which supervises the shelter.
“They were told about the people that come to this safe space and the care they receive which is respectful, dignified and mindful of their human rights,” Gonzalez said.
The Mexican official said Salazar was pleasantly surprised by the services at the Juarez shelter and commented it should be a model for migrant facilities throughout Mexico to follow.
The Kiki Romero shelter is a basketball gym that was converted into a communal living space in early 2021. Nearly 10,000 migrants have found temporary shelter since then. Its guests have included families and vulnerable individuals from all over the world. Lately, it has seen mostly Mexicans and Central Americans still subjected to Title 42 exclusions and expelled by the Biden administration to Mexico.
“The ambassador asked people at the shelter not to lose hope. He told them to be grateful for the help they receive in Ciudad Juarez,” Gonzalez said.
The ambassador’s visit lasted about an hour, Gonzalez said.
Later in the day, Salazar attended the Fandango por la Lectura at the Paso del Norte Cultural Center. The event headlined stressed developing reading habits among children and instilling in them the desire to learn about their culture. Salazar was joined by Chihuahua Gov. Maru Campos and Beatriz Gutierrez Muller. Gutierrez, the wife of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, prefers not to be called the first lady of Mexico.