Non-Profits In North Texas Offer Legal Help, Supplies At Border

Alan Scaia
June 25, 2019 - 6:27 am
Migrants are loaded onto a bus at the Border Patrol Headquarters on Hondo Pass in El Paso

© Mark Lambie, El Paso Times

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - About two dozen non-profits across Texas are offering supplies, shelter and legal help for children detained at the border.

Hundreds of kids were moved from a Border Patrol facility near El Paso Monday after reports they were kept without adequate food, water and access to sanitation.

"They were removed from filthy, terrible, unsanitary conditions, but where are those children now?" asks Dallas lawyer Domingo Garcia, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar says most of the children were taken to another Border Patrol facility in El Paso until they can be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Garcia says LULAC has had a legal team and medical team tour the first facility, where about 30 kids remain.

"They said the conditions inside they had seen were cruel and terrible," he says. "These are concentration camps. There is no other word. These are barbed wire fences with armed guards, and you're talking about children being placed in there. They're just not equipped to do that."

Among non-profits offering shelter are the Thanks-Giving Foundation, which has been working with Annunciation House in El Paso and Oak Lawn United Methodist Church in Dallas to provide shelter for asylum-seekers while they wait to be connected with sponsor families.

The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas is providing legal advice to asylum seekers and immigrants who have been the victims of violence. Texas Civil Rights Project has been asking for bilingual lawyers who will represent people during their hearings.

Interfaith Welcome Coalition and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley have been offering shelter, a place where people can change clothes or shower and transportation.

Other groups, including Immigrant Justice Now and Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition, have been providing pre-paid cell phones, showers and laundry service.

On "Face the Nation" Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. House, controlled by Democrats, have failed to move on a humanitarian bill that would provide more bed space.

"Our Customs and Border Patrol agents are doing a job, but the system is overwhelmed,"​ he said.