Asylum Seekers Housed in Dallas Matched with Sponsors

Alan Scaia
June 12, 2019 - 11:50 am
Immigration

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

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DALLAS (KRLD) - Churches and non-profits in Dallas have helped match their first busload of asylum seekers with sponsors. The group, Faith Forward Dallas, is made up of leaders of different faiths. The group accepted a bus carrying 57 asylum seekers from 25 families from El Paso Saturday.

"This is a true interfaith initiative," says Thanksgiving Foundation Chief Executive Kyle Ogden. "We're a good distribution hub. We have two airports and good bus service from here, so we're able to be a good welcoming and expediting facilitator."

Twenty-three families had come from Guatemala, one family came from Honduras and one came from Venezuela.​ They had been staying at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.

"Nobody's coming here to stay here. They're coming here to get expedited to their sponsors," Ogden says. "The chaos was kept to a minimum, and we feel like we had a very good experience for a first try at this."

The last of the asylum seekers left Wednesday to be matched with sponsors in Houston, Austin and 15 other states. Ogden says faith leaders are meeting Wednesday afternoon to review the process, saying he expects a second bus this Saturday.

"We have the expectation that we will do this throughout the summer, provided that there continues to be a need," he says. "Our plan is to be ready to receive two buses a week."

Ogden says he communicates regularly with churches in El Paso. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says shelters in El Paso are receiving an average of 600 people per day.