Bay Area group helps migrants released from Texas facility

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ABC7's Cheryl Jennings traveled with a Bay Area humanitarian group that's raised 1,000 pounds of clothes and toys to donate to shelters serving migrant children in Texas, and was there as they helped a mother and her child who fled violence in Honduras. (KGO-TV)

Chaos erupted at a detention center in Texas on Saturday, as hundreds of demonstrators staged a protest over migrant children. ABC7's Cheryl Jennings brings you the Crisis at the Border from the facility in McAllen.

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Demonstrators put themselves in harm's way trying to stop a bus filled with what they say were migrant families and children about to be moved.

VIDEO: Bay Area congresswomen outraged by Texas detention centers
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ABC7's Cheryl Jennings traveled to the Texas town of McAllen, where a delegation of lawmakers investigated facilities for undocumented children and adults. She says legislators were outraged by what they witnessed.



"The first place we visited had nothing on the floors," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. "They were small children, many under the age of 5, who were separated from their parents and were crying."

Earlier in the day, 25 Democratic members of Congress came to McAllen, to investigate the detention facilities housing undocumented children who were separated from their parents.

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"This is going to make a lot of people happy," said President Donald Trump.

The president did reverse his stand on separating families with an executive order. But the fate of thousands of undocumented children is still not known.

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Controversy continues to surround the Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy.



"Frankly, what we really want to do is go in that building there and hug those children, but we know that's not possible," said volunteer Lilli Rey.

ABC7 traveled with Rey and her Bay Area humanitarian group. They raised 1,000 pounds of clothes and toys to donate to shelters serving migrant children in McAllen. They call themselves the McAllen 12 and have their own slogan.

"'I want my mommy' became the favorite because who doesn't understand that in any language and every child deserves that," said Rey.

Some of the "I want my mommy" volunteers were with ABC7 as we met a young mother and her son from Honduras at a bus station near the detention center. Jasmaree and her son had just been released from three days at the McAllen facility.

VIDEO: ABC7's Cheryl Jennings interviews Jackie Speier at the border
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ABC7's Cheryl Jennings has just arrived at the border with a group of Bay Area moms. Follow Cheryl and ABC7 News as we bring you the story of the Crisis at the Border.



When asked if she got to stay with her son, Jasmahree told ABC7 through a translator, "Thank God the new law was in place. Because if not, we would have been separated."

The 21-year-old and her toddler son left Honduras to get away from violence. The small bags in front of her were the only things she has to start over.

Jasmahree was spotted by the "I want my Mommy" group, who arranged to get clothes to her before she left on a bus to stay with a relative.

"It's such a good feeling and thank you to everyone who put us in this position to come here and feel good about this," Rey.

Follow Cheryl and ABC7 News as we bring you the story of the Crisis at the Border.
Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationimmigration reformborder crisisu.s. & worldCrisis at the BorderSan FranciscoTexas
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