S.A. Catholic Charities Provides Update on 'Migrant Caravan'

With that migrant caravan inching closer and closer to the U.S., there are growing concerns that there is the social service infrastructure in place on this side of the border to help asylum seekers once they're released, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

Antonio Fernandez, head of Catholic Charities of San Antonio, is just back from a weeklong trip to El Paso, where they're gearing up in case the flood of migrants from Hondurans comes their way.  

He says there is no way they could handle thousands of people, released at the bus station by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Overall, he says the migrants are coming here for the jobs.  They're naive when they talk to them about U.S. migration policy.

"We tell them that you have to go to court. This is a must for you. Some of them actually said, 'But I want to get a job before."  It's like, no, you cannot go to work before."

And it's for that reason that he does not think the U.S. could make changes to migration policy that was dissuade migrants from making the perilous trek here.  And coupled with that lure of jobs, he heard some amazing stories of violence in Honduras, where gangs have become brutal.

One story from a Honduran woman left him in tears

"They killed my husband. They sent me his body parts," she told him. "If she did not send money, they would do the same to her child."

He says if women like her are sent home, it would be a death sentence.  But, at the same time, he says there is not enough help in El Paso to get similar migrants with family or friends where they can wait for an asylum hearing.

Catholic Charities has put out a call for volunteers to help along the border.  Roland Valdez answered the call.  He's in El Paso, volunteering with a group from San Antonio and Dallas.He says its families, praying for a better life.

"Most of them, its work.  They say, if they can find work, they make less than a dollar a day."

He says one father choked up, seeing the volunteers willing to help.  They don’t feel that warmth anywhere else.

And while there is a concern that these migrants could be coming here to do harm, he says those released by ICE before their asylum hearing are good people in a bad situation.

"All the people we've seen are families.  I have not seen any single individuals."



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