More than a dozen Venezuelan families who crossed the southern border into Texas are now in Fresno seeking political asylum.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the families arrived in town last month and have found shelter at the Fresno Mission.
Driving the news: At least two of the families initially traveled from South America to Mexico, where they crossed the border into Texas over a month ago and surrendered to authorities.
- Texas authorities placed them on a bus, which took them to Denver, Colo., where they stayed in a shelter before coming here, according to a report from Univision.
- The families do not have jobs or a place to live, and they include children under the age of five.
State of play: While the families have found shelter at the Fresno Mission during the nights, they are unable to stay there during the day and have nowhere to go.
What they’re saying: The news of the relocation by Texas officials sparked a furor from City of Fresno officials.
- “The vile and inexcusable action of the state of Texas of shipping frightened immigrants and their children to our city is heartless,” said Fresno City Councilman Luis Chavez. “Fresno is a city of immigrants, built by immigrants. We are a welcoming city and our churches and faith based organizations, along with the city will do everything we can to help these immigrants arriving in Fresno. This also underlines the need to ensure we have a comprehensive immigration reform in Washington DC. We can’t with one hand invite people from across the world, utilize their cheap labor and then with the other turn them away when they want to be part of the American Dream. We are measured and judged by how we treat the most vulnerable.”
- “My office is exploring all legal options including suing the State and the Governor of Texas if these allegations are true. We will forward all unlawful acts including conspiracy to commit federal kidnapping to the U.S. Attorney,” Fresno City Attorney Andrew Janz said in a statement to The Sun.