While exact details are not yet finalized, KPRC 2 has learned Catholic Charities and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will partner to provide respite services for migrants being bused from the border to Houston.
KPRC 2 has previously reported the federal government plans to bus some migrants released from Border Patrol custody to cities farther north, like Houston. Federal officials are trying to alleviate overcrowding at shelters along the border.
Officials with Catholic Charities told KPRC 2 they were awarded a $2.8 million grant through FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
The grant, which will cover a 3-month period, will be used to provide temporary respite to migrants traveling through Houston. At this time, the groups are considering using a hotel near Bush-Intercontinental Airport. Officials with Catholic Charities said they will serve as the fiscal agent and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be the service provider.
“For us, it’s another band-aid. But it’s also, same thing, it’s a lot of political games that are being played,” said the head of immigrant rights group FIEL Cesar Espinosa.
Espinosa is happy to hear about the help but said it does nothing to solve the problems along our southern border or the broader issue of immigration reform. He blames both political parties for the impasse.
“We should deal with the crisis that’s at hand, we should deal with what’s at hand on the US/Mexico border and not just spend more resources just to score political points,” said Espinosa.
Overcrowding at shelters and detention centers along the border has been a consistent problem for more than a year.
According to status reports filed by the federal government as part of a federal lawsuit, 390,798 migrants caught illegally crossing the border, or those initially deemed inadmissible to the United States, have been released from Customs and Border Protection custody into the US since the beginning of the fiscal year.
According to court documents, this includes those paroled from custody or those given a Notice to Appear in immigration court.