A mission group from The Evangelical Covenant Church in Clay Center recently visited a Respite Center on the US/Mexican border. The center in Brownsville Texas is for asylum seekers that cross the border from Mexico requesting asylum for several accepted reasons. Then they are assigned a court date for a judge to hear their case and a town that they will live in until that time.
Most asylum seekers come from Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, or China.
Upon reaching the US border many individuals have had to pay or trade everything they own to the Cartel that helped them make the 1200 plus mile trip. For most the journey will take over a year, and can involve stopping to work for a while to get enough resources to keep moving.
The Respite Center only houses the asylum seekers for a day or two while they get their plans made to move on to a town where they have family or friends.
When they do make it into the US, most have connections, such as relatives or friends, that send them money or arrange for transportation to get them to their residence.
The Respite Center are now operating under Title 8, and the number of visitors have decreased since there are now significant penalties if they are denied asylum.