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Migrants in San Antonio endure cold temperatures, minimal food

Migrants set up outside of the resource center due to limited capacity inside.
Kayla Padilla
/
TPR
Migrants set up outside of the resource center due to limited capacity inside.

The number of migrants arriving at the City of San Antonio Migrant Resource Center on San Pedro has averaged 1,000 people every day. The center’s total capacity is 700 people.

Varying numbers of migrants are bundled up outside of the center with no space for them to sleep inside. Instead, they are sleeping in the parking lot of the adjacent Cici’s Pizza and enduring 40 degree temperatures at night.

A migrant from Venezuela named Luz arrived on Sunday. Her family of five received two blankets from the center. They spent their night shivering from the cold temperature.

“I hardly slept so that the kids could sleep and wrap themselves in the blankets,” she said.

Luz and her family have had an extra challenging journey. She said they originally had enough money to make it to their destination in Florida, but they were robbed in Mexico last week.

“They took us to an isolated area and they took everything we had. We were left with nothing. And my daughters are traumatized because of what happened,” Luz said.

Luz is trying to get to Florida so she can work and her children can go to school. Her children are 10, 14, and 16 years old.

An unidentified person drops off warm clothes for the migrants living on the streets.
Kayla Padilla
/
TPR
An unidentified person drops off warm clothes for the migrants living on the streets.

Another migrant from Venezuela named Nerio explained the conditions inside the center weren’t ideal because of the overflow of migrants. He said there’s not enough space for everyone, the bathrooms are dirty, and he’s hungry even after eating the food provided.

“If we had the proper help we needed, we could get to our destinations easier. Miami, New York, Dallas,” he said.

Nerio has also been sleeping in the parking lot.

“The cold is terrible. But if we already made our way through seven countries, we’re almost at the end of the journey. We just have to get through this,” he said.

Luz and Nerio said that individual members of the community have dropped off supplies and given them directly to the migrants in the parking lot. This includes food, water, clothes and blankets.

The number of migrants sleeping outside varies from dozens to more than100.

The Migrant Resource Center did not respond to TPR's request for comment.

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Kayla Padilla produces for The Source and is also a news reporter for Texas Public Radio.