The title is at 42 but the buildup at the border continues. The overflow at the El Paso border is slowly beginning to trickle into other parts of Texas as nonprofits step in to help relieve it, including in Dallas.
Oak Lawn United Methodist Church welcomed about 30 immigrants Tuesday morning, most of them men from countries like China, Turkey and Nicaragua.
Isabel Marquez, pastor at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, said it was personal.
“I know what it’s like to be in a detention center,” Marquez said. “I was (there) for five months. Therefore, we serve as part of our ministry knowing that these people deserve new opportunities.
The migrants arrived dressed in sweatpants and sweatshirts and carrying only a small red bag containing documents. An asylum seeker from Nicaragua, who preferred not to be named, also carried a Bible and a picture of his daughter. He said it was his first independence day.
He said he was held at the Bluebonnet Detention Center in West Texas for more than three months. He said he was escaping from political persecution.
Today, Catalina said she is thankful for volunteers like Muniz. Muniz has volunteered with the church since the summer and is eager to use her bilingual skills.
“I have the opportunity to speak two languages. Muniz told me he was fluent in English and Spanish. “Many of the people who come through this emergency shelter speak Spanish. So, I have an opportunity to help them.
Muniz is keen to give a voice to migrants fleeing violence from countries such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico, Turkey and China.
“Some have been trying to get to the Texas border for months. “Some spend only a few weeks,” says Muniz. “Each person who goes here has a unique story, and unfortunately, many traumatic events have occurred along their path.”
Volunteers at the church help provide food and clothing to immigrants, as well as help coordinate travel to ensure immigrants arrive on time for their court-ordered hearings.
“My primary job is taking,” Muniz said. “This (here) requires getting information from a passing guest. After initial intake and registration, I can help them print boarding passes to their sponsor cities or help them facilitate the flight.
Marquez said they expect to have another group of 30 migrants on Wednesday morning, when Title 42 is lifted and are ready to welcome at least 150 migrants each day.
The community can drop off donations at the church located at 3014 Oak Lawn Ave.