Texas, Arizona and the diaspora: Let Biden take care of it

Texas, Arizona and the diaspora: Let Biden take care of it

Status: 08/27/2022 6:50 PM

The southern US states of Texas and Arizona are putting migrants on buses bound for Washington. There he argues that the US government should take care of it. Some expats are fine with that.

By Lena Stadler, ARD Studio Washington

About 80 expatriates sit at tables and benches in the basement of the Methodist Church in Washington’s Capitol Hill district. Some are stretched on the floor and dozens are doing it. It is full, the air smells of chicken and rice in unwashed clothes and large pots on the table.

There are boxes with clothes, diapers, and toiletries on a platform at the top of the room, and volunteers distribute things. People were brought here from Texas in two buses in the morning.

Without churches and without volunteers, they would be stranded helpless in Washington: newly arrived migrants from Central and South America

Image: Reuters

hope for a better future

Among them is Alexander Rafael Colmenares. He flees his native Colombia and tells of how armed gangs are causing great problems in his country – which is why he “gave everything” to “look for a better future for me and my family”.

The 30-year-old looks at the room with tired brown eyes. He hardly has anything other than the clothes he wears. Border officials snatched his mobile phone.

Colmenares stayed on the road for a month and a half, crossing six countries. Most of the time he walked, only occasionally took the bus. When he arrived in Texas, he was offered a free seat on a bus to Washington. He was happy to admit it—he calmed her down by letting the bus go off-limits, he says, and everything is “much better” now.

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Free Tickets – With Count

In fact, Colmenares ended up in Washington because two men didn’t want refugees in their states: Greg Abbott and Ducey, the Republican governors of Texas and Arizona. Since spring they’ve been offering migrants at the Mexican border free tickets to Washington, and since early August — at least Texan Abbott — to New York.

With just action they oppose the immigration policy of the democratic US government. Greg Abbott said on US television that the Biden government in the United States capital can “immediately meet the needs of those whom it has allowed to cross our border”.

Hope triggers more migration

In fact, not much has changed in immigration policy since the Democrats took power in 2021. But only the announcement of relief has prompted thousands of people from South and Central America to move to the United States. Already, more immigrants have crossed the southern border than in the entire last US fiscal year.

In Washington alone, 7,000 migrants have arrived in buses across the border since April. The capital’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, has twice in the past few weeks asked the US government for help from the National Guard to prevent a “humanitarian crisis”, as he wrote in his request for help. which was rejected.

Return trip to Texas or Arizona not desired: Migrants after arrival in Washington DC

Image: Reuters

nothing works without volunteers

So only volunteers are left – meanwhile a huge network that takes care of those who visit. And that’s largely without state support, says Pastor Stephanie Vader, in whose parish the refugees were allowed in that day. State – and better coordinated – support would be of great help. Although the “Mutual Aid” network spent over $300,000, it was all donations. And yet there are still many unmet needs,

Nine out of ten refugees do not live in Washington but continue to travel. Colmenares also received a bus ticket from the Volunteer Network to visit his brother in Tennessee. There he hopes to be able to work, find peace, and live at some point.

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