USA Based Programs

Border fence that separates the city of Tijuana from San Diego, CA. Photo by G. Ortega

JRS/USA based programs consists of the Detention Chaplaincy Project and Caminar Contigo. Through these programs, refugees and other forcibly displaced people are provided with a wide variety of services dependent on individual need.

Regulations put into place by the U.S. and Mexican governments as well as increasing violence in Central America have caused significant challenges at the border. People are arriving at the southern border of the United States to seek asylum only to find that they must wait for significant amounts of time to have their cases heard. Their lives have already been disrupted, their communities often broken, and their support networks disjointed, and yet their suffering has become protracted.

Caminar Contigo: JRS/USA Binational Border Program

The goal of the program is to reduce suffering, improve mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, and the decrease of violations to the legal rights for refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced people in the Cd. Juarez & El Paso region through the provision of information, support, and other legal and MHPSS services.

Program activities for the affected individuals and families in the in the U.S. supported from our El Paso office include, but are not limited to:

  • psychoeducational support groups and workshops
  • structured recreational activities for adults and children
  • provision of legal information and legal consultations
  • case management

*Migrant Accompaniment Network

The JRS/USA Migrant Accompaniment Network is a program of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) in collaboration with the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) and the Jesuit Community of El Paso. The Migrant Accompaniment Network is an integral part of the JRS/USA Binational Border Program. The network engages volunteers across the U.S. and collaborates with partners in Mexico border cities, as well as throughout Mexico and Central America. It seeks to secure support and assistance for recently arrived asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in their process of integration into their receiving communities across the US.

Volunteer Opportunities

Additional programming is offered through a partnership with JRS Mexico in Ciudad Juarez. 

Equally important is the care afforded to the staff working with these individuals. Specialized training for the service providers, including psychological first aid, is a priority — as well as self-care strategies to manage stress and burnout.

Learn more about Caminar Contigo

JRS/USA Detention Chaplaincy Project

The JRS/USA National Chaplaincy Program provides pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in five US federal detention centers located in Florida, Texas, Arizona and New York. The National Detention Chaplaincy Program enables people of all faiths and no faith to have access to pastoral and spiritual care within either their faith tradition or no faith tradition.

In 2017, staff in the five adult detention centers coordinated a total of 1,388 religious services, 1,350 religious teachings and 1,392 spiritual support sessions to approximately 11,384 detainees. Volunteers contributed 3,034 hours in the provision of these services. The other direct detainee services, including administering religious diets, emergency notification, marriage requests, provision of religious items, and other special needs totaled 1,185 hours.


The five DHS detention centers are located in: Batavia, NY; El Paso, TX; Florence AZ; Los Fresnos, TX and Miami, FL.

US Asylum Updates 

Please join us in calling on members of Congress and all decision makers across the US to come together to acknowledge the humanity of those who have been forcibly displaced, recognize the dignity that each person possesses, and restore access to asylum for all.