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Hope for asylum, coping with grief, tiny homes project

Don't miss out on the week's special reports and newest reveal

IMPERIAL, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Border Patrol Agents have been overwhelmed the last few months, apprehending hundreds of undocumented immigrants daily. Many claim to be running away from violence.

According to Customs and Border Protection's reports, 8% of asylum seekers have been released into the Yuma Sector. Meanwhile, a band of non-profits has taken the initiative to help those whom are discharged from border facilities.

Almost 90 miles from the Mexicali border lies Mecca, where a non-profit answered a call for help. The Galilee Center helps house some of these asylum seekers released from Yuma and El Centro Border Patrol custody, but not until they're tested for COVID-19.

This past year weighs heavily on many as they grieve over the loss of their friends and family. Grieving is without a doubt, a process and something far from easy to overcome, especially during these difficult times.

Grieving comes like a wave of emotions, but allowing yourself to acknowledge and feel those emotions and come to an acceptance, is pivotal to moving forward.

Self-care, including surrounding yourself with family and friends in a safe manner and doing the things you enjoy most certainly help combat some of life’s hardest moments.

Oscar Aguilar, a clinical social worker, touched on the stages grief: denial, bargaining, depression, anger and finally, acceptance. According to Aguilar, grievers should, "Focus on their self-care. Seek adequate support. Friends, family, spirituality if that’s important to them, and also seeking professional help. Counseling services, psychotherapy. But taking care of our mind, our body and our heart."

Many tears were shed on Friday, though not for reasons of sadness or doubt, but of security and joy!

The City of Imperial held an emotional celebration as homeless college students in the Imperial Valley now have a lighter load in pursuing their educational goals.

Imperial leaders worked together to house these students whom have been struggling to find something most of us take for granted. Imperial Valley College's Superintendent and President Dr. Martha Garcia had the vision to create this community. For her this is a dream come true.

One student, 28-year-old Cierra Gibbs, told News 11 that without the Lotus Living Tiny Homes Project, she wouldn’t have been able to pursue a higher education.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Imperial and Yuma Counties respectively have populations of about 180,000 and 214,000 people.

With regard to those figures, approximately 14.3% of Imperialites have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, while 17.3% of Yumans on average tested positive for COVID-19.

Both California and Arizona continue to hit vaccination milestones. Over 32.4 million vaccines have been administered in the Golden State. Whereas, Arizona surpassed 5.3 million coronavirus vaccinations.

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Caleb Fernandez

Caleb Fernández has always had an affinity for creative collaborations. Throughout his early education, he was actively involved in musical theatre. Upon earning his Bachelors degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction.

Most recently, his work in strategic social media management has allowed him the blessing to work remotely while utilizing his skill sets of shooting still and moving images, retouching, scripting, editing, event management, and brand representation.

As a native of the Imperial Valley, Caleb looks forward to serving the KYMA/KECY-TV team in one of the most rewarding ways: by giving back to the Valley which helped raise him.

Please reach out via email at if you’re interested in collaborating.

KYMA News Team

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