A Surge of Immigrants Continue to Arrive at the U.S.-Mexican Border

Immigration mural

In August of 2014 there was an unprecedented number of “family units” and unaccompanied minors presenting themselves at the U.S.-Mexican border.  They were seeking asylum to escape the violence, extortion, extreme poverty and lack of employment in their countries. After several months, the numbers of people coming to the border lessened until this September, 2015. Again we have thousands of Central Americans and Mexicans seeking asylum here in our country.  The violence has not diminished nor have the other push factors which force people to leave their land.  A new problem is the drought in Guatemala and consequently no corn harvest which has literally brought about starvation in some parts of this country.

In the El Paso, Texas area, U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended 690 family units and 571 unaccompanied minors from October 1 until November 30 of 2015.  We had only one shelter in the city of El Paso to receive the “family units”; however, the shelter received 250 immigrants in one week so another shelter was opened.  Due to the need for more volunteers, Ruben Garcia called on Religious Women’s Communities to help. Sisters from all over the U.S. are coming for a month or two to provide assistance at the shelters. The immigrants need clothes, food, medical assistance, toiletries, and rides to the bus station or airport. These shelters have assisted the government in housing many of the new immigrant families that cannot be detained at an Immigration Customs Enforcement detention facilities. 

The people of El Paso have been extremely generous in donating their time, talent and money for this project and we, the School Sisters of St. Francis, have been offering our services and financial aid, through donations, to alleviate the desperation of the people seeking refuge in our country.