The operators of an adventure retreat in Glorieta were preparing Tuesday for the potential arrival this week of an influx of immigrant children and youth in need of temporary housing.

According to a volunteer page on the Glorieta Camps website, the organization was asked by the White House and Health and Human Services Department to “house and feed potentially 2400 unaccompanied children.”

Josh Nelson, an executive assistant for Glorieta Camps, said he expected the organization to issue a news release regarding a federal contract for the camp to house the children, but he was unsure when the deal would be finalized. As of late Tuesday night, the camp had not issued the statement.

Still, camp employees and representatives of other organizations were calling on the public to help provide supplies and were seeking some 400 volunteers to help care for the kids.

A number of Facebook posts were requesting toiletries, bath towels, water bottles and clothes for 13- to 17-year-old boys.

The Hire Firm, a staffing agency in Northern New Mexico, also was seeking to fill 60 paid positions at the camp for the temporary initiative. According to job postings, people helping with food preparation, kitchen cleaning and housekeepers, and those working directly with the kids, would earn $20 an hour.

Glorieta Camps, operated by a Christian faith-based nonprofit called Glorieta 2.0, sits on a 2,400-acre property south of Santa Fe. It offers a variety of lodging options for families and kids, including hotel-style rooms with full private bathrooms for families and bunk-style dorms with in-room sinks and shared bathrooms.

The retreat was founded in 1952 as the Glorieta Baptist Assembly but was purchased by Glorieta 2.0 in 2013 for use as a Christian adventure camp for families, groups and kids. It also has offered summer camps for local children. Its facilities include a dining hall, a coffee shop, courts, trails, game fields, a pond for water sports, large communal areas and outdoor patios.

The potential housing program at Glorieta Camps comes amid a wave of immigrant kids crossing the border following new policies introduced by the Biden administration.

The Washington Post reported March 10 that more than 8,500 unaccompanied immigrant children and teens were housed in Department of Health and Human Services shelters, and a record-setting 3,500 children were backlogged at a Border Patrol station.

The influx of migrant youth is not uncommon, said Allegra Love, a Santa Fe immigration attorney specializing in border issues since 2014.

Love, who previously served as executive director of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, said the immigration process for unaccompanied immigrant youth is “extremely complicated.”

As a result of the 2018 Flores Settlement Agreement, all unaccompanied immigrant children must be held in a nonsecure, licensed facility within three to five days of apprehension. The settlement allows 20 days in the case of a surge, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

Immigrant children arriving at the borders of Mexico are first under the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, which must release them within 72 hours to the Department of Health and Human Services. That agency is tasked with finding the best care for them until their case is resolved.

“If you look at unaccompanied children throughout the last decade, this is high, but it’s not insane,” Love said of the current wave of immigrants. “To people like me, who work in the field, this is actually like a predictable flow.”

Love speculated a high number of kids being housed at a facility like Glorieta Camps is a way for the federal agencies to ensure kids are entering Health and Human Services custody in the correct legal time frame.

“The kids we’re moving right now are either clearing space from the temporary shelters that are already opened, and they’re clearing them out to make space for incoming kids. Or these are kids coming directly out of Customs and Border [Protection] custody,” Love said.

She said emergency housing contracts such as the one that could be in the works at Glorieta Camps are a result of the federal government’s “failure to set up preparations” for a predictable flow of immigrants — not a partisan issue.

“This is history repeating itself, repeating itself, repeating itself,” she said. “And we’re not taking a holistic-like responsibility and approach to solving it, which is why we keep finding ourselves here no matter who is president.”

(29) comments

Lucy Lu

Interesting how the article does not mention, and the reporter obviously did not ask anything about length of stay, CoVid concerns, or any other illnesses or viruses these individuals could potentially carry. But I guess at $775.00 per individual, its a good money maker.

Marci Mel

Last I heard our governor was very, very worried about Covid-19. So worried she asked us all to stay home for months, wear masks, limit our social interactions, limit the number of people allowed inside stores and restaurants, work from home, move schools to online learning. We did it all. So, is she going to do what's best for New Mexicans and at the very least, ask the feds to please ensure all of these children are tested? Considering the virus variants that are bound to pop up out here, she really needs to say something. I really don't think we can handle 1,000+ cases per day again. Our stretched-thin healthcare workers deserve better.

David Brown

Let the money flow.....the poverty kings are lining up on this on....nonprofits will be the richest folks in town....Tammany Hall lives....

Lee DiFiore

KIDS IN CAGES! KIDS IN CAGES! KIDS IN CAGES! Sorry, I thought for a moment I was a hair on fire democrat.. Sorry twice, I also forgot that joe's in the white house so there are no more kids in cages concerns.

Joseph Tafoya

Why are these children being treated better than our own impoverished children? This is a slap in the face of every “AMERICAN” child, especially children of color, who through no fault of their own are living in conditions worst or no better than the children who are being used by the Biden administration as pawns in a political game. Why are they using money that could be used to better our children first?

Mike Johnson

Well said, as Sir Thomas Brown said long ago: "Charity begins at home". And 1 Timothy 5:8...."But if any provide not for his own, & specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

Jim Klukkert

Mike- One might want to be very careful to quote the Holy Bible for political advantage. Most especially for the traveling stranger in need, and above all, regarding children.

I recall "for of the such is the kingdom of God." Luke 18:16

That would even be worse than citing garbage like

Mike Johnson

Jim, I would like to see Webber, Egolf, Wirth, and the many politicians who promote and encourage these people coming into our country to be the first to take them into their homes. Then I might think differently about their values and motives for this.

Jim Klukkert

Joseph Tafoya's love for American children is as shallow as his love for making political points is strong.

Hey Joe, what government programs to support children should receive more funding?

The only one using children's issues as a political pawn is, yes, Joseph Tafoya!

Hey Joe, can you even name even one program?

David Brown

Joe you make too much sense to be heard.....

Bill Roth

are you aware of the funding and changes in the current (passed ) rescue act? the one with zero republican support? the one with funding dedicated to just that, that will lift more than 50% of families with children out of poverty? one of the biggest social welfare programs since johnson and the great society programs? the one that ensures Americans on ACA do not pay more than 8.5% of their income in insurance costs? that president?

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mark Coble

The Daily Democrat paper discourages questions by never answering.

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David Brown


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Lupe Molina

Racist. Needs to be removed.

Gustavo Gonzalez

I would love to participate and be involved! How can I contact and sign up right away?

Derek Gzaskow

How to help

While Glorieta Camps has not confirmed its federal contract to house and care for up to 2,400 migrant kids, it asks on its website that anyone who wants to volunteer for the initiative to register at, or by contacting Brita Sjogren at 505-428-6424 ext.731 or

I missed it also but it was in the box to the left

Spencer Windes

Thanks Derek!

Michael Kiley


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Angel Ortiz

How wonderful to see the compassion for these children who have been literally incarcerated for months. There are prisons that offer better housing and care for the inmates than what the Federal government has done to these kids. I would say more but since you are hidding behind a silly psuedodnym I won't waste my time.

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