MCALLEN, TEXAS – With the surge of undocumented children and young mothers streaming into the US from Central America, some Filipinos in the border city of McAllen in south Texas chose to respond to the urgent need to feed, clothe, and shelter them.
The Pinoys are among the growing number of residents in the Rio Grande Valley who have volunteered their time and effort to care for undocumented immigrants who are dropped off daily by Border Patrol agents at a local bus station.
"I saw blank faces of women and children when they come in," said Grace Roa, a Filipino volunteer.
"Some of them travel on foot for a month," said Zarah Almirante, another Filipino volunteer. "That's a long journey."
Some of the undocumented immigrants are being temporarily housed at the Sacred Heart Church in cooperation with diocese, Catholic Charities, the city of McAllen, Hidalgo County and other church groups.
Sister Pimentel of the Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley is confident helping out the immigrants can be sustained even while policymakers are still trying to decide the next steps.
"In the long-term recovery, the community will continue to meet as a group so we can work together," said Sister Pimentel. "We don’t know how long this is going to happen. It could be many months or years. We’ll continue working."
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