ICE investigating after immigrants bused to San Antonio
Officials: Undocumented immigrants were from overcrowded facilities
SAN ANTONIO – The president and CEO of Catholic Charities of San Antonio said hundreds of immigrants were bused to San Antonio, but most were just stopping here en route to their final destinations.
Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they are still looking into whether the families were released from their facilities, or another agency's.
A spokesperson from ICE sent the following statement to KSAT: "ICE officials are looking into the matter regarding the bus station drop-offs. ICE cannot confirm whether or not drop-offs came from ice or another federal agency."
KSAT spoke with J. Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of San Antonio.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. What happened this weekend at the bus station?
A: "We found out that a lot of immigrants were being released at El Paso and McAllen. We were notified that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 900 people were being released to the Catholic Church and Catholic Charities," said Fernandez.
Q: Did a small portion of that group come to San Antonio and arrive via buses?
A: "We provided shelter for 12 people Saturday and Sunday and everybody who was at the bus station received help. We fed them, we clothed them until they had to go to the airport or the bus station to get to their final destinations," Fernandez said.
Q: How did these families look when they arrived?
A: "People are coming in good health, so we haven’t seen any issues with health and they are happy they actually are finally going to see their families. Some of them have been traveling for weeks or months," Fernandez said.
Many of the families who showed up were just passing through though, headed to other cities around the country.
Catholic Charities of San Antonio is not anticipating more groups this week, but it is asking for donations, and not just money.
"Toys for the kids -- it’s simple, it’s a human thing. Kids are crossing the border, some with just a bag. Why can’t we have a teddy bear for a kid who hasn’t played with one?" Fernandez said.
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