Project Lifeline caravan headed to McAllen detention center to bring supplies, provide support

Flow of immigrant families, minors continues

SAN ANTONIO – Physicians, faith leaders and immigrant advocates, among others, will be part of a caravan leaving Saturday for a detention center in McAllen, where immigrant families and unaccompanied minors are initially held.

The caravan, which will be loaded with donated supplies, is part of Project Lifeline, a nonprofit organization that offers detainees various levels of support, especially as they face the possible prospect of being held indefinitely.

Even being separated or detained for a specific period of time concerns Dr. Ayesha Kahn, an emergency physician at Stanford University who specializes in global health equity and disparity. She said the traumatic effects on children can be long term.

“The first wave affects sleeping, toileting, learning, nutrition,” she said.

After they children are released, Kahn said, they can suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

She said they also have difficulty forming relationships.

Kahn said that, later in life, the children can develop heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic illnesses.

Click here for the latest figures of the status of children separated at the border.


About the Author:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.