MCALLEN, Texas – Catholic Charities is receiving more than half a million dollars back for the aid they provided migrants this year in McAllen. It’s money that Sister Norma Pimentel will be using in Matamoros.
”These are families that are asking for asylum. They really are afraid and there’s a lot of fear of what can happen to them in Matamoros. We’re hoping that we can offer them any help that we can.”
Sister Pimentel says the center used to house over 1,000 migrants every day for the past year, but center has seen a significant dip since the Migrant Protection Protocol policy (MPP) went into effect. It forces migrants to wait in Mexico until it’s time for their immigration court hearings in the United States.
Pimentel says, “You know this morning I was there and it was a lot 10, 11 in the noon time and they hadn’t had anything to eat. Sometimes there’s a lot of groups that go across and help them and feed them but sometimes there’s not.”
According to officials, Texas experienced the highest number of apprehensions and is receiving nearly 40 percent of the $2.9 million awarded to the entire state for migrant care.
Maria Flores, United Way of South Texas, “Some of these agencies applied for less and the nationals actually approved them for a lot more than they requested.”
Three non-profits in Hidalgo County are receiving over $710,000 altogether. Cameron County organizations are also getting back $430,000.
Meanwhile, the City of McAllen is still waiting for their cut. City officials have spent over $600,000 on transportation for migrants since 2014 but have yet to receive a fraction of that money back.
A second round of reimbursements is expected for the rest of the $30 million appropriated by Congress.