It is February 7, 2017 and we find ourselves in the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center…right downtown McAllen, Texas. McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas, and the twenty-second most populous city in Texas. It is located at the southern tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen, Texas has the largest immigration processing center in the United States
We are getting a tour, learning about their operation. Their mission…to help those who have crossed the border and have been released from ICE to being the process of seeking asylum. I am traveling with a group from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Buckner Missions to learn more about immigration and the impact inside our communities.
The Humanitarian Respite Center was created to provide a way-station for asylum seekers from Central American countries moving through McAllen, Texas. The respite center mainly serves women and children who have traveled together as a family and have been paroled from detention centers while they await their asylum court hearing. This ministry provides welcomed relief and support, especially for those fleeing traumatic and life-threatening circumstances in their home countries.
During our tour, a pregnant lady traveling who traveled from Guatemala and swam across the Rio Grande to cross the US-Mexico border walks through the door.
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