As 300 children and more arrive in Miami, Florida, Tampa’s La Casa del Alfarero Church at 5610 W. Linebaugh and Tampa Honduras United are collecting donated clothing and items for the immigrants, the Tampa Tribune reports.
It was business as usual at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Tampa today. In off-camera interviews, Pete from Italy and Diane from Canada, shared their thoughts about America’s overwhelmed immigration system. Diane said the process is costly and needs to be simplified.
by Carol Lim
Wednesday was National Immigration Reform Day. While there were no demonstrations from Latin American groups or the Hispanic community in the Tampa Bay area, Texas businesses and politicians voiced their concerns. On Wednesday, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in humanitarian, emergency aid to deal with the thousands of undocumented immigrants and children crossing United States borders. Many make the long, dangerous trip on foot to seek a better life in America. Hundreds die along the way in the heat and harsh conditions.
During a Democratic Party fundraising trip to Dallas-Fort Worth, President Obama met with Texas Governor Rick Perry for a short time to talk about the crisis on Wednesday. Gov. Perry wants National Guard troops and drones to help secure the Texas border. Gov. Perry called the situation at the Texas and U.S. borders “a disaster,” according to CNN. While in Texas, President Obama did not visit any Texas border town to see the immigration crisis first-hand.
So, who is taking care of these undocumented children and adults now? Some communities along the Texas border have opened vacant shelters for temporary housing. Vigilante militia groups have offered to secure the borders in California and Texas. Some of the undocumented immigrants are arriving at Houston’s airports to connect with relatives and friends in other parts of the United States. The Houston Chronicle reports federal officials toured J.Terrell Middle School in north Houston on Tuesday to find shelter for the undocumented immigrants. The middle school, now closed, is used for storage space by the Houston school district.
When thousands evacuated to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, Katrina victims were sheltered and processed at Houston’s Astrodome and at other relocation cities across the United States. Crime also shot up 11 percent in Houston during the first 6 months. American Red Cross chapters reported “double-dipping” by some Katrina victims, U.S. citizens. The chaotic, lawless aftermath of Katrina also was an urgent crisis on American soil. Hurricane Katrina lashed Louisiana’s and Mississippi’s gulf coasts on Monday, August 29, 2005. The Times Picayune showed truckloads of federal aid, troops and guns rolling into New Orleans the weekend of Sept. 4, 2005 after President Bush saw the devastation in the New Orleans area. Katrina victims say church and non-profit groups were the first-responders as they waited for federal help.
As the news media shines a light on the current immigration crisis, the debate in Congress continues on what to do with thousands of undocumented immigrants, mostly children. Supporters of humanitarian aid suggest Congress should be deported, not the children. An Austin, Texas church pastor also reminds everyone that unless you are a native American Indian, we’re all immigrants.
For more on National Immigration Reform Day yesterday, go to http://www.click2houston.com