Undocumented mother shares journey from Guatemala to El Paso
POSTED: Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 11:33pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 4, 2014 - 3:09pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — Thousands of undocumented immigrants transferred to El Paso are being dropped off daily at the local Greyhound Lines bus station in Downtown El Paso to be reunited with family in other cities.
Non-profit organization, like the Annunciation House in El Paso, that help these undocumented immigrants say the families of the immigrants are almost always the ones paying for their transportation costs and the non-profit organizations and churches rarely end up paying the bills.
Cecilia Mendoza and two of her kids are one of the thousands of undocumented families from Central America.
They are from Guatemala and traveled to the United States, crossing the border illegally, in search of work. She left three of her other children behind with family.
"I had to borrow more than $4,000 to travel here," she said.
Cecilia says her husband abandoned the family three years ago and she was left to support them.
She says they were so poor that she couldn't make enough money to put food on the table.
When Cecilia and her kids arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, they turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents.
The agents kept them in concrete holding cells while they were processed.
"We slept on the floors; we were cold and hungry. My children were crying," said Cecilia.
The family was later transferred to El Paso and released to St. Ignatius Catholic Church, which gave them food, shelter, and clothing.
"Whether you feel sorry for them or not, we do not have the resources to take care of them," said Jody Kincaid, a resident of Anthony, Texas.
Borderland residents like Kincaid say they're concerned about the recent influx of undocumented immigrants pouring into the United States.
He argues the federal government should be spending its resources on Americans rather than picking up the tab for these immigrants.
"When they come across, they should be given a good hot meal and put on a bus or a train or a plane and sent back to where they come from. It's not our responsibility to take care of them down there," he said.
But Cecilia hopes her family will get permission to stay in the country.
Border Patrol gave her immigration papers to take to an attorney to file a case.
On Thursday, she and her two children boarded a bus for Atlanta, Georgia to meet with family.