On a warm night in in Laredo, Texas, immigration authorities drop off a group of Central Americans at the Greyhound bus station. Though legally in the U.S. to request asylum, these migrants are detained and processed. Abandoned and alone at the bus station, they now await their asylum hearing dates.
A family of four is headed to Austin for an asylum hearing date set almost a year from now. The parents, practically youths themselves, walked from Honduras with their two children. They may build a life in the US for a year, but after their hearing, their future is uncertain.
A young man, who came to the US alone, is taking a bus to meet family who already live in the country. He plans to stay in the station until his departure, scheduled for the early hours of the morning. He has nowhere else to go.
Freshly released from detention by authorities, these individuals are dropped off with no next steps, no context and no support. They have relatives in Virginia, in Austin, in Dallas, they have no idea where these cities are. They can find these places on a map as well as most of us can find Tegucigalpa in Honduras. They have no money, no food, and no phones to call family--only the clothes on their backs.
Despite fear and confusion, they are certain of one thing: whatever awaits them in the US is better than what they left behind.
For months, this has been the story of asylum seekers detained by ICE.
But two weeks ago Greyhound announced refugees are banned from taking shelter in their bus stations without a ticket, these vulnerable people are left on the street, without a roof over their heads after their detention ends.
In response to this humanitarian crisis, the Diocese of Laredo is opening a migrant shelter.
Located at San Francisco Javier Church, a poor mission church with deep ties to the Latino community, the shelter will safely serve asylum seekers awaiting their hearings. With funds generous donors have already provided, the shelter has purchased a washer and dryer for use by to provide the migrants clean clothes, and has helped to pay staff salaries and utilties. They need to raise $25,000 to ensure that they can continue to provide food, shelter and emotional support for those in need.
They can’t do it alone. They need your help today.
Please help our brothers and sisters on the margins.
Where there is confusion, bring clarity.
Where there is fear, bring comfort.
Where there is cold, bring warmth.
Where there is despair, bring hope.
Help the Diocese of Laredo reach their goal of $25,000.
If you can give, donate.
If you can’t donate, share.
But whatever you do, do it today.