Filed Under: Politics

Immigrant buses from Texas strain DC shelter resources

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Buses from Texas filled with immigrants are still arriving in Washington, D.C. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been ordering the charter buses since April. According to the governor’s office, the state has transported 6,800 migrants to D.C. as of Aug. 12.

“They are going to increasingly have to grapple with the challenges that we face in Texas until we have Washington, D.C., finally step up and do its job and secure the border and enforce the laws passed by the United States Congress,” Gov. Abbott said in an interview with KETK-TV.

But months of arrivals are straining the limited resources of D.C.-area shelters, including St. Mathew’s Church. Father Vidal Rivas said he has a few main goals: get each immigrant a job and a phone and give them a dignified place to stay until they can find their own place. 

“I don’t understand how there can be people like the governors of Arizona and Texas that can transport immigrants like things and objects, and not as dignified people,” Father Rivas said.

Between food, electricity, shelter and other expenses, Father Rivas calculated care can cost up to $1,300 a month per immigrant. But he said his church community is willing to help because 80% are Latino, 30% have Temporary Protected Status and 15% are undocumented.

“This is a continent of immigrants. People that immigrated from other countries to populate America. But especially in the United States, all of our roots are from immigrants,” Father Rivas said.  

Luis Cumare and Richard Fernandez, both from Venezuela, are staying at the church. Cumare’s dangerous journey took him through the jungles of Panama. He ultimately got on a bus in Texas that dropped him off at D.C.’s Union Station.

“First they made us sign a paper that said we were not obligated to enter the bus. They told us to leave because there, they didn’t have any shelters that could help us,” Cumare said.

They sleep on mattresses in a spare office. Everything they have is donated and fits in an egg crate. They came to America with the clothes on their back, a passport and a plan.

“We came here hungry, but hungry to work,” Cumare said.

“To work for my family,” Fernandez said. 

Fernandez wants to send money back to his four year old daughter in Venezuela.

“It starts with discipline,” Fernandez said. “With discipline and a lot of consistency.”

Buses from Texas filled with immigrants are still arriving in Washington DC. Governor Greg Abbott has been ordering the charter buses since April. The Texas Governor’s office says the state has transported 6,800 migrants to DC as of August 12th, and the number is only growing.

Abbott says: “They are going to increasingly have to grapple with the challenges that we face in Texas until we have Washington, D.C., finally step up and do its job and secure the border.

But months of arrivals are straining the limited resources of DC area shelters, including Father Vidal Rivas’ church. Rivas says he has a few main goals – get the immigrants a job, a phone, and give them a dignified place to stay until they can find their own place.

Father Rivas says: “I don’t understand how there can be people like the governors of Arizona and Texas that can transport immigrants like things and objects, and not as dignified people.”

Father Rivas says between food, electricity, shelter and other expenses, care can cost up to $1,300 a month per immigrant. But he says his Church community is willing to help because 80 percent are Latino, 30 percent have Temporary Protected Status, and 15 percent are undocumented.

Rivas says: “This is a continent of immigrants. People that immigrated from other countries to populate America. But especially in the United States, all of our roots are from immigrants.”

Luis Cumare and Richard Fernandez are from Venezuela and staying at the church. Cumare’s dangerous journey took him through the jungles of Panama. He ultimately got on a bus in Texas that dropped him off at DC’s Union Station.

Luis Cumare says: “First they made us sign a paper that said we were not obligated to enter the bus. They told us to leave because there, they didn’t have any shelters that could help us.” 

They sleep on mattresses in a spare office. Everything they have is donated, and fits in this egg crate. They came to America with the clothes on their back, a passport and a plan.

Cumare: “We came here hungry, but hungry to work.”

Richard Fernandez: To work for my family.

Fernandez wants to send money back to his four year old daughter in Venezuela. How?

Richard: “It starts with discipline.” 

Discipline. 

Buses from Texas filled with immigrants are still arriving in Washington, D.C. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has been ordering the charter buses since April. According to the governor’s office, the state has transported 6,800 migrants to D.C. as of Aug. 12.

“They are going to increasingly have to grapple with the challenges that we face in Texas until we have Washington, D.C., finally step up and do its job and secure the border and enforce the laws passed by the United States Congress,” Gov. Abbott said in an interview with KETK-TV.

But months of arrivals are straining the limited resources of D.C.-area shelters, including St. Mathew’s Church. Father Vidal Rivas said he has a few main goals: get each immigrant a job and a phone and give them a dignified place to stay until they can find their own place. 

“I don’t understand how there can be people like the governors of Arizona and Texas that can transport immigrants like things and objects, and not as dignified people,” Father Rivas said.

Between food, electricity, shelter and other expenses, Father Rivas calculated care can cost up to $1,300 a month per immigrant. But he said his church community is willing to help because 80% are Latino, 30% have Temporary Protected Status and 15% are undocumented.

“This is a continent of immigrants. People that immigrated from other countries to populate America. But especially in the United States, all of our roots are from immigrants,” Father Rivas said.  

Luis Cumare and Richard Fernandez, both from Venezuela, are staying at the church. Cumare’s dangerous journey took him through the jungles of Panama. He ultimately got on a bus in Texas that dropped him off at D.C.’s Union Station.

“First they made us sign a paper that said we were not obligated to enter the bus. They told us to leave because there, they didn’t have any shelters that could help us,” Cumare said.

They sleep on mattresses in a spare office. Everything they have is donated and fits in an egg crate. They came to America with the clothes on their back, a passport and a plan.

“We came here hungry, but hungry to work,” Cumare said.

“To work for my family,” Fernandez said. 

Fernandez wants to send money back to his four year old daughter in Venezuela.

“It starts with discipline,” Fernandez said. “With discipline and a lot of consistency.”

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