Immigration continues to be a complex conversation. But the truth is so many migrant families suffer for the right to live peacefully.
1 in 6
According to the American Immigration Council (AIC), 1 in 6 people who live in Texas are immigrants. In conjunction to that, 1 in 6 people who currently reside in Texas are U.S.-born citizens with at least one parent who is an immigrant.
According to a fact sheet titled “Texas’s Immigrant and U.S.-Born Parents of Young and Elementary-School-Age Children,” compiled by the Migration Policy Institute, in April 2021, of the 690,000 immigrant parents of children ages 0 to 4 in Texas, 52% of are women. Of the 840,000 immigrant parents of children ages 5 to 10, 53% are women.
The AIC reports that as of 2018, 1.9 million immigrants in Texas had been naturalized (that is, they have legally acquired citizenship to the U.S.). That accounts for 38% of the total immigrant population in Texas. Meanwhile, 957,647 of those immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens just one year prior.
When Border Patrol takes custody of a child who emigrated alone (referred to as an Unaccompanied Child, or UC), they are held for up to 72 hours. But then they must be released to the care of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). According to HHS, as of Oct. 31, 2021, there are approximately 10,680 UCs in their care. A number that has prompted the creation of two emergency shelters in Texas in addition to the 40 facilities already in use. It also undercuts continued tensions surrounding immigration law in the U.S.
In 1986, the Austin Interfaith Task Force for Central America opened Casa Marianella, a project in response to the flux of people fleeing from Central America to Austin. Named after Salvadoran attorney and human rights activist Marianella Garcia Villas, the organization provides shelter, legal and medical services to those migrating to Austin. In 2003, AmeriCorps volunteer Patti McCabe opened Posada Esperanza specifically to shelter mothers and their children.