Since its founding, Centro Romero has been a leader in the field of practical theology with a special interest in immigration issues, migrant advocacy, sex trafficking, economic justice, and environmental justice. Since 2015, Centro Romero has worked on the U.S./Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico and Southern California. They welcome migrant children traveling on their own, single mothers traveling with their children, and other vulnerable populations. Centro Romero provides housing, food, medical attention, psychological support, and pastoral care for families and individuals seeking political asylum and affected by current United States immigration policies.
Most families arriving at Centro Romero are originally from Central America, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Another large constituency receiving support from Centro Romero are individuals from Haiti and Africa. Centro Romero provides for the immediate relief, but also works to promote family empowerment and reunification, and assists in gaining access to legal services for families.
In addition to these services for migrant families, the Centro Romero offers a community lecture program and hosts fact-based discussions on the factors driving migration from Central America. They also train and provide volunteer opportunities for individuals in both Tijuana and San Diego to represent refugee families and provide advocacy training.
Update December 2019:
Carlos Correa Bernier, Executive Director of Centro Romero, was present for the 2019 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the 2019 General Synod of the United Church of Christ. As part of the workshops, Carlos spoke about the current work of Centro Romero.
Carlos explained that given the current situation in Central America and Mexico and the immigration policies of the current United States administration, the work of Centro Romero continues to be vital to those at the Tijuana and San Diego border, one of the busiest border crossings in the western hemisphere. Carlos explained that Centro Romero is a Christian community maintained primarily by volunteers. In the past, a primary focus of the Center was to offer immersion experiences for seminarians and churches in the United States to educate them on the experience of migrants at the border. However, given current events, the Center has engaged further in ministering to and caring for the many migrants who find themselves trapped in an inhumane system at the border. Carlos reported that large groups of migrants have been abandoned in Tijuana without basic necessities or care. He reported children as young as four were among those dropped off without resources in Tijuana. The needs of the migrants include housing, medical care, food, and prevention of dangers such as sex trafficking and other exploitation of vulnerable populations. Carlos explained that Centro Romero continues to address these needs through a mobile medical unit, providing food, and educating these populations about issues such as sex trafficking.