The federal government is finally gearing up to repay San Antonio taxpayers and local charities more than $1 million that they spent taking care of some 30,000 refugees who have passed through the city in the past three months
U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) says cities and non profits can begin applying for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency staring this week.
"The primary things that are going to be covered will be food and shelter," Cuellar said. "Then, on a secondary need, will be transportation."
That could cause problems for non profits like Catholic Charities, which was buying bus tickets for refugees who were traveling to reunite with family and friends already in the U.S.
"Then if there is any money left they will go toward transportation, which is the one that will cover San Antonio."
The City helped process the refugees as they were shipped here by the Border Patrol, mainly in Del Rio, during the height of the flood of refugees and immigrants arriving from dozens of countries. The refugees were given food, shelter, as well as given a medical check up and provided with other benefits.
The non profits provided bus tickets to the refugees, most of whom were trying to go to places where other people from their home countries had settled, to await their asylum or immigration hearings.
The flood of refugees has slowed along the border, and the need for San Antonio to provide aid to the immigrants has, at least for now, stopped.