For the first time since the White House stepped up their zero-tolerance policy on the border, children who have been separated from their parents have been shipped to San Antonio where they're living in a non-profit shelter aligned with the Catholic Archdiocese, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"As you can imagine, it's a new place and a new city, but once they eat and start playing with the rest of the kiddos, then I think they're a lot better," J. Antonio Fernandez, head of Catholic Charities, says.
The 22 Central American kids were all separated from their families since May. He says the families all fleeing violence in their home country, linked to a bloody cartel war.
The kids are now living at the St. Peter-St. Joseph Children’s Home, which is often referred to as St. PJ’s. This is the same shelter that, in 2014, sheltered hundreds of kids who came to the border unaccompanied as part of a surge across the southwest border.
And while the nation debates immigration policy again, he says they take politics out of the equation and treat kids like kids.
"We don’t care about the country were the kids come from, or the color of his skin, or religion," he explains. "We treat a kid as a five year old or six year old or ten year old, whatever they are."
Along with food, the kids get therapy, access to a counselor and lawyer and just someone to talk to, he says.
But, along with this surge, he says there is a growing need to supplies to keep up. They're asking for donations of clothing, shoes and diapers. There's also need for maternity clothes, as one woman they're caring for is currently pregnant.
As for what's next for the kids, he says it's up to the government and how they handle their parent's legal cases. That's why they're asking for legal help for the kids.