"Border Convoy" group plans Valley protest
POSTED: Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 3:53pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 12:48pm
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER23) — Members of the Border Convoy are in McAllen.
They are some of the people who famously blocked immigrant families from the holding facilities in Murrieta, Calif.
The Border Convoy is on a an eight-day road trip. It began in Murrieta and ends in McAllen.
"We came down (Wednesday) night with the intention of getting a lay of the land," Border Convoy organizer Eric Odom said. "Understand who the people are that know what's happening at all times."
The trip will bring its members to stops in six different cities and span 1,500 miles. On Thursday, some members were at the McAllen bus station.
Migrants seeking refugee status are typically given a notice to appear in court and dropped off there.
"We've been working on getting intel as far as what's going on with DHS buses and what's going with the number of people who are flooding into McAllen," Odom said.
About a handful of people from the Border Convoy are in town. They're here in advance of a protest on Saturday. There are about 100 people from the same convoy who will arrive on Friday.
"We had some security issues we ran into in El Paso and Van Horn, so we determined it would be safest for us to go on to San Antonio," Odom said about leaving the original planned route.
At the bus station, Odom was tweeting about migrants being dropped off after their stay with Border Patrol. It's something that's been happening for months now. When they're dropped off, many of them head to Sacred Heart Church down the street.
Catholic Charities would house, feed and give clothing to the families. It also provides support at the bus station.
The organization took exception to a critical tweet from the Border Convoy account, reading "Federally funded Catholic Church on location helping the illegal aliens here in McAllen," and showing a photo from the McAllen bus station of the Catholic Charities workers.
"Must be doing something good, because otherwise, they wouldn't be criticizing," Catholic Charities' Sister Norma Pimentel said. "I don't understand folks that are against helping others... We're doing it because they're here in our city, in our community, and they need help."
The Border Convoy will hold a press conference at the bus station Friday at 11 a.m.
The Border Convoy Organizer says the number of people being dropped off has increased recently to 200 a day.
Catholic Charities says recently it's been taking in about 50 to 80 per day.