‘We’re ready’: Shelters in the Rio Grande Valley deal with influx of migrants

Immigration

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The Rio Grande Valley is seeing an influx of migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Local charities said they are prepared to help.

Thousands of migrant children and families have made their way across the border. Gov. Greg Abbott is heading to Dallas on Wednesday to speak on the situation at the border.

“On February 18, we received 49 people they were all families, and on February 19, we received 26 people again they were all families and since that time we have not we haven’t received anyone into our shelter although we’re ready,” said Bill Reagan, director at the local non-profit Loaves and Fishes, an organization helping families in need.

This time housing families will be different.

“It’s going to be difficult because we’ve taken measures because of COVID-19. We don’t have the capacity in our facility that we did two years ago,” he said.

He adds there are beds available for when those families come to his facility.

“Much of the building we used for migrants two years ago we can’t use now. We do have 40 cots set up in our dining hall and we have made arrangements with a local hotel to place people in a hotel and as a last resort the Harlingen community center is available to us to house people there,” Reagan added.

Abbott will visit the Dallas Downtown Convention Center, which will house migrant children in U.S. custody. Border Report’s Sandra Sanchez is on the frontlines on what’s happening in facilities across the valley.

“I’ve been at the Donna tech facility, which from what I understand from a source inside, thousands of people on top of one another. They’re not socially distant, there’s a concern of COVID for border patrol agents as well as other germs that can be passed along,” she said.

Sanchez has been covering the border for years, adding an influx like this is nothing new.

“We saw this in 2014, we saw this in 2015, and 2019 and basically near McAllen and Mission people are basically giving themselves up. They have no intention on running from border patrol. Where we see people trying to flee is single adult males in Starr County that’s where a lot of them cross. We’ll they know they’re going to be expelled because of title 42 so they’re just running,” she said.

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.