SAN ANTONIO – A local church is opening its door to more than 60 Central American people who were released from area detention facilities after another temporary shelter could no longer house them.
The church is taking in 64 mothers and children who are being moved from another shelter because it had electrical and plumbing issues.
“We have basic medical care, showers, we provide meals four days a week, we have a clothes closet (and) we are uniquely equipped to help in this situation,” said Lori Chidgey, executive director at Corazon Ministries Inc.
The Central American families are in San Antonio after being released from detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City.
"What we have experienced is directly related to the court order on Friday that effectively said that immigration can no longer keep children in these unlicensed prisons,” said Jonathan Ryan, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services executive director. “These women are not villains. They are victims, and they need to be protected under our law and under our traditions as a nation. We are a nation of immigrants, but more importantly, we are a nation of refugees. The pilgrims were refugees. Our forefathers, many of them were refugees."
Rep. Lloyd Doggett praised RAICES and the city for the shelter operations currently underway, but he said he’s working to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
"I contacted the White House the night that I heard this happened. I’ve been in touch with the immigration service, ICE, both locally and in Washington,” Doggett said.
The church is preparing to receive more families in the coming days and weeks. They have received a lot of clothing donations for the women and children staying there.
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