Churches opening up for undocumented immigrants ahead of planned ICE raids Sunday

Sunday, July 14, 2019
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Refugee shelters open in Houston days before ICE raids begin.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Several area churches across Houston are opening their doors for undocumented immigrants, ahead of planned ICE raids, Sunday.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made the announcement alongside area faith and community leaders at one of the churches, Living Water Ministries, on Jensen Street. The church plans on opening its doors, stocked with food, as well as making deliveries to people who are afraid to leave their homes.

"We're standing with pastors who've committed to opening their doors if there are those who feel that they're in jeopardy where they are," says Jackson Lee who is condemning Sunday's raids.

Living Water Ministries Pastor Robert Stearns also spoke, saying, "We want to be a beacon of light for those in who may be in fear."

Houston is one of several major cities across the country where these planned raids are expected.

Houston business owner, Antonio Villalobos, immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, illegally, in 1981. They were fleeing oppression in El Salvador.

Now a U.S. citizen, he says he understands what these families are going through.

"People say, well, why are you upset, you know, with what you've done with your life? I say, because that's me, that was my mother, and my sister and me," says Villalobos.

He thinks there's a better way to solve the county's immigration issues.

He says, "these are just hardworking people looking for a better life and this is what they're getting? These are human beings."

Jackson Lee expects more churches to open up tomorrow as a sanctuary. Her office will also be opened for people if they have questions.

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