San Antonio Becoming the Center for Immigrant Family Reunification

posted by 1200 WOAI - 

After months of living apart, there are lot of smiles and hugs at Catholic Charities of San Antonio, where migrant moms and dads are reunited with their kids, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

"What I see is families clinging to each other and it looks like they'll never ever be separated again," Director J. Antonio Fernandez says.  "Some of the kids were not talking too much, but other kids were talking nonstop.  It was a blessing."

Newsradio 1200 WOAI was there when one of the reunited families was escorted to the airport, where they will be shipped to a sponsor family in another state, where they will await a court hearing as part of the asylum process.  

Reporter Michael Board asking in Spanish how they were doing, but the mother merely waived as she got into the van.

Fernandez says they expect a steady stream of these migrant family reunions before the July 26th deadline.

"There are only four reunification cities.  San Antonio, McAllen, El Paso and Phoenix, so we expect a large amount of families," he explains.

Volunteers there are expecting to host as many as 400 families.

After reunification, he says there is a mountain of paperwork they need to fill out, with the help of volunteers.  They're also fed and clothed.  Many of the kids, he says, are sleeping in the same clothes they were found wearing after crossing the border.

Many of the Central American families they have helped are fleeing violence, he says. They don’t know when the families arrive. 

The buses come with little notification.  They're asking for volunteers to help.

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