According to staff at centers that refuge immigrants released by CBP, they are seeing a new trend- more immigrant fathers are traveling with their children.
As immigrants make their way to the southern border, women and children aren’t the only groups that are standing out. Now a growing number of men and their kids are arriving to respite centers and shelters.
Jose Sanchez left Honduras with his eight year old daughter- a decision he says he made with his wife after he was unable to support his family due a lack of jobs in Honduras.
“With very low wages, it’s extremely difficult to live off of that I left my wife and my four-year-old daughter. The moment I left, I felt like I was dying,” says Sanchez. It’s difficult. I’d rather take that risk now before I get older to give them a better future.”
Shelters like Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen and Good Neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville are among the facilities that say they are seeing a new trend of immigrant fathers who are accompanied by their children.
“A few years ago, we had a similar kind of surge and we had almost all women that came to our shelter. But, like yesterday, it was all men and small children and so far today its kind of a mixture,” says Bill Reagan, Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes.
Reagan adds that the unexpected trend is creating some challenges.
“So far, its worked with that one private room to put all migrant men with their children in there. We put up some cots right there and so far that’s worked. If we get more people, I don’t know what we’d do,” Reagan said.
Despite these shortages, some of the migrant fathers, like Sanchez, say the help they’ve received at shelters like these have been the biggest blessing for them since arriving to U.S.
“They gave us clothes, they gave us shampoo, they gave us a place to shower and food. I’m speechless and grateful,” Sanchez said.
Shelters like Loaves and Fishes say they are anticipating more immigrants to be dropped off in the next days.
They are asking for donations of hygiene products, brand new underwear for all ages, and clothing.