Filipino community helps separated migrant families at the border

Around 1,820 children, ages 5 to 17, according to the Department of Homeland Security, have been reunited with their families by Thursday evening — meeting the deadline, the DHS said, that a California judge set last month.

Children would meet their parents in churches or facilities in different states, but mostly they were reunited in border towns like McAllen, Texas, where more than 20,000 Filipinos live.

Joy Sycip Limquiaco has been living and working in McAllen since 1985.

She is one of many Filipinos who have volunteered in churches or centers that offer services to migrants including to families recently reunited.

“It is a very humbling experience because I believe, this is my belief that we are all immigrants here. One way or another we came here for whatever reasons. And to me, I don’t look at it in a political side, it is more a humanitarian side.”

Limquiaco recalls one moment that moved her to do more.

“The thing that was an impact for me, was when Fr. Jorge said when he asked one of the individuals what he or she wanted, and the individual said, all I wanted was a cup of coffee with sweet milk — and that kinda of oh my god, these kids have gone through so much, being separated from their parents — and all he wanted at that moment was a cup of coffee with cream milk.”

Limquiaco has volunteered with her church group, serving free dinner to families who have just been reunited or released from the immigration detention center.

“There were like 250 people including the parents, and the kids were 5 to 17 it varied.”

Limquiaco tells BA the children just stayed with their parents, similar to what other volunteers in other facilities observed.

“Children are attached to their parents and they don’t even want to go to the bathroom by themselves because they are so afraid that they’re gonna be separated,” said Julisa Zaragoza.

The ACLU, which represents migrant families, disagrees with the government claim that it has met the deadline.

463 parents, lawyers said, were deported without their children — and the administration admitted they said, that it does not know the identities of the parents of 40 children.

About 700 children remain in shelters or in tent cities because they were not approved for reunification, either because of a parent’s criminal history or other safety concerns.

ACLU and government lawyers are back in court today. One of the issues before Judge Dana Sabraw is how long a parent due to be deported should be able to stay.

Meanwhile, Limquiaco tells BA that she and other Filipinos will be volunteering again on Wednesday, and they plan to bring some rice and adobo for the families.


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  • Mario
    29 July 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    When the illegal alien, left foot step-in inside the border, that is WELCOME to USA. There is no BORDER IMMIGRATION SECURITY LAW.They catch then release, ask to come back for Court Trial within 5 yrs. & nobody showed up.If the illegal is a child, he will stay with the parents, then release or deported. If unaccompanied child, the child is protected by Child Protection Act. Taxpayers money will take care of them.During Obama regime the child are separated from parents, will fly over to a Resort, owned and runned by the Church in Florida.Today they are billeted in a air conditioned Tent close to the border. The 700 child still detained, because,some had been Deported before, some had criminal records,
    brought in by drug Cartel, some are handicap child,etc. Trump for the 4th time ask to pass IMMIGRATION REFORM or else he will shut down the Government. This is the last hope for DACA, end Chain and Lottery migration and Border Wall etc..Trump is hoping for the Democrat will support him, it need 9 additional Democrat votes to pass a Bill.