There are many misconceptions about refugees coming to the border. I am a Red Cross volunteer and would like to relay some of my experiences working with refugee families in the hope that more accurate information will help us form more informed views and decisions.
There are extremely generous churches, volunteers and companies helping these families when they are dropped by Homeland Security behind the Greyhound station, or in parking lots of nearby churches. These families are not coming for a handout; in fact, they have sponsors or family members in the U.S. who are paying for them to travel by bus or plane to U.S. destinations.
It is truly heartbreaking to hear a person talk to their Mom in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador, telling them that they and their infants and toddlers are OK. After the calls, they sob because often they have left other children behind.
Because I speak Spanish, these women feel comfortable telling me horror stories about how they were mistreated by ICE and border patrol agents. Evidently, agents pick a woman at random and separate them from their young children; they proceed to harshly interrogate her for over 30 minutes. The one female agent, encouraged by three male agents, accuses women of lying and not being Christian. They threaten to send the woman back to Honduras without her children if she does not “admit” the children are not hers.
The refugee mother has a large envelope with birth certificates and other identification to prove these are her children. An American family member pays for travel by bus or plane. I am grateful to the many generous individuals and organizations that have helped these desperate families. I appeal to our fellow human beings to have compassion and to remember that we are all created equal.