Catholic Charities Helps Migrants As They Face Unknown Future

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Currents News Staff

Arel Garcia can’t remember which day he got to the U.S. It’s been a blur.

U.S. authorities gave him an ankle bracelet and he’s trying to get to a relative in Kansas. All to escape the dire economy and violence in Guatemala.

“I worked on the fields. Growing coffee plants,” he said.

He’s one of at least two thousand migrants who have already been dropped off by Customs and Border Protection into McAllen, Brownsville and Harlingen, because officials say there’s just no room to hold them.

In McAllen, Customs and Border Protection dropped migrants off at Catholic Charities.

If their U.S. relatives can buy them a bus ticket, they are then taken to the central bus station.

Their long journey to the U.S. is now followed by confusion – a release, with notices to appear in court – which many of them don’t understand.

“I explain to them what to expect up front. I tell them that immigration is going to ask you where you’re going.” said volunteer Luis Guerrero. He’s seen and heard all their stories.

Including that of a four-year-old girl whose family was robbed by men with machetes. “She said, I’ll never forget you, and I said, why momma? She said, because you were the first to tell us welcome to United States. That really hit me,” Guerrero shared.

He helps all of them on to their next destinations, to meet with family, or start a new life of the unknown.