Donations To Help Undocumented Migrants In San Diego Pour In
Monday, July 7, 2014
Aired 7/7/14 on KPBS News.
Migrants from central America have been transported by US Customs and Border Patrol from Texas to San Diego.
The recent surge of undocumented Central American migrants in the San Diego region has prompted intense protests, but also an outpouring of donations.
"We have received more than 10 tons of food, clothing, supplies," said Enrique Morones, executive director of immigrant rights group Border Angels.
Morones is leading an effort to collect supplies to give to the hundreds of migrants, who entered the U.S. illegally, during their stay at federal facilities and upon their release.
"We want to have the Border Angel people and our friends go by there with teddy bears, a little backpack, with some supplies and things for the children and for the mom," Morones said, "so that they realize that here in San Diego they’re loved."
Morones said the protest last week in Murrieta captivated the world and actually helped his humanitarian efforts. Since then, he said hundreds of people have stopped by his downtown office with carloads of donations.
Ruthie Portillo and her sister collected a full truckload of food, clothes and diapers from family and friends in Chino, Calif., and drove two hours to San Diego.
"I have family that have immigrated from other countries, specifically Central America," Portillo said. "I think we felt a connection and that we had to help."
Morones said he’s working with federal officials to get the supplies to the migrant families. He said toys, children’s clothing and diapers are still needed.
Meanwhile, protesters in Murrieta are continuing their efforts to block migrants from entering the city’s Border Patrol station. The small city, located an hour north of San Diego, has been in the spotlight since last Tuesday when protesters turned away three busloads of migrants. The protesters say their efforts are giving other cities the courage to stand up and say no.