Trump admin dumped thousands of asylum seekers in San Antonio. The city's response has been beautiful.
Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images

Tens of thousands of asylum-seekers from Central America’s “Northern Triangle,” comprised of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, have fled to America over recent years to escape the region’s corruption, drug trafficking, and gang violence.

After these families are processed and detained at the border, they are scheduled a court date at their final destination in America, which is usually with a friend or family member.

Last March, hundreds of these immigrants began showing up at a Greyhound bus station in San Antonio, Texas. Since then, the stop has seen around 200 or more people on a daily basis. Most of the families have only what they can carry in their hands and are in serious need of food, money, and sanitary supplies.


“The migrants arrive only with the clothes they are wearing and what they can carry, and what they can carry in most cases is their young children,” Colleen Bridger, the city’s senior public-health official, told Mother Jones.

“We get no help or funding from Washington even though we are, in effect, acting as an extension of the federal government by processing and providing vital services to these asylum seekers," Bridger continued.

So, San Antonio and its citizens have banded together to help America’s newest arrivals.

The city opened up a resource center at a shuttered Quiznos sandwich stop by the station where it has served as a haven for the weary immigrants. Here, they can call family members and are provided with a new backpack, a Red Cross blanket, soap and toiletries, a bag of 20 snacks, a small stuffed animal, crayons and a coloring book, a used English-Spanish paperback dictionary, and a reusable water bottle.

They can also enjoy a hot meal served by the San Antonio Food Bank.

Catholic Charities has been spending around $14,000 each week to pay for bus fair for the refugees to help them reach their final destination.

The immigrants sleep at nearby Travis Park Church, a Methodist congregation, with a history of serving the homeless.

The response in San Antonio stands in stark contrast to that in Washington where lawmakers have stumbled at putting together any plan to alleviate the immigration crisis.

Recently, White House advisory Jared Kushner briefed Senate Republicans on a potential plan, but was greeted with skepticism even from his own party.

While the recent arrivals have put a strain on city resources, the people of San Antonio are putting the politics of the situation aside and providing humanitarian aid however they can.

“It’s easy for things to go political when you don’t have a name and a face to go with the problem,” Bridger told Mother Jones. “We have names and faces of families who are here, so I think when it’s up close and personal, people do a better job separating the politics from the people.”

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

Keep Reading Show less

The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

Keep Reading Show less