Immigrants in San Antonio wait anxiously to reunite with separated loved ones

Catholic Charities to help reunite immigrant families separated at the border

SAN ANTONIO – The first of an estimated 400 immigrant families who were separated at the border during the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy are expected to arrive Monday in San Antonio, officials said.

Antonio Fernandez, president of Catholic Charities, said the reunions will occur Monday afternoon.

"We were told by ICE that we will have families come today, but we don't know how many. We don't know when, exactly," he said. "For now, it's a waiting game for us. The good thing is we're ready, so as soon as people come, Catholic Charities will be there."

But as of 5:15 p.m., no buses carrying immigrants, possibly from ICE detention center in Pearsall and Karnes County, had arrived at the Catholic Charities facility downtown.

Fernandez said the reunions may happen late Monday.

Lilian Martinez, of Honduras, who with her two children are staying at a Catholic Charities home, said she is worried about her husband, who was separated from them at an ICE facility in San Diego.

"I have nowhere to go. If my husband is released, he can work and we can get an apartment and then we're OK. We won't have to be suffering anymore. The only thing I want is help to reunite us," she said in Spanish.

The families will arrive in separate buses, Fernandez said. One bus will be filled with children, the other with parents.

When the immigrants arrive, they will be clothed, fed and booked into a hotel before they head for their next destination, Fernandez said.

The nonprofit has been preparing for the arrivals over the weekend by collecting and sorting loads of donations of clothes, food and toiletries.

Volunteers will work 24/7 to make sure the families feel secure and safe, Fernandez said.

About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.