Migrants dropped off in Sacramento are 'scared,' anxious to find work

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Migrants dropped off in CA are 'scared,' anxious to find work
Sacramento community leaders say the 36 asylum-seekers who were dropped off by a private jet are '"scared" and anxious to find work.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- More information has been disclosed about the 36 asylum-seekers who were dropped off by a private jet in Sacramento last Friday and again Monday. Now, the group is being cared for by local faith-based groups.

Most of the 36 migrants are young men and a few women, all in the their 20s and 30s, along with a puppy named Geico.

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Gabby Trejo, executive director of Sacramento ACT, said, "When you think about our new neighbors I want you to picture young people with energy."

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said, "What must we do to make 36 people safe and welcome? Bring it on. Bring it on."

Local government agencies and faith based groups said the asylum seekers are staying together as groups in Sacramento. They want jobs to send money back to families in Guatemala, Columbia and Venezuela. Their stories were intense - many walked for seven months to reach the southern border.

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Volunteer Shireen Miles talked about one migrant, "He traveled through Columbia through the jungle, through the desert and along the way two of his companions were killed."

Cecilia Flores with Sacramento ACT said, "They were approached outside a migrant center in El Paso and told by people representing themselves as contractors or organizations, that would help them be relocated to a place and be provided shelter, housing and job opportunities."

Private planes took them to Sacramento. Both on Friday and again on Monday, the groups of migrants were met at the airport by a bus that brought them to the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento offices. The driver told them he'd be right back, but he never came back so they knocked on the door.

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"Definitely folks feel scared, very scared," Trejo said. "Halfway through their travel, they realized they weren't going to a jobsite. Instead they were going somewhere far away."

They've gone shopping for clothes at thrift stores. They now have cell phones. Two have met up with family members in the Bay Area. They have to juggle immigration court dates and find jobs.

"There is only one response to this kind of evil and that is to respond in a loving and humane way," Mayor Steinberg said.

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