Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Mayor Ivy Taylor, and members of RAICES met with ICE on Saturday and got the agency to agree not to release immigrants into the city without notice again.
This past week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released hundreds of immigrants into the city of San Antonio from detention centers in Dilley and Karnes City.
City services and local charities weren’t prepared for the release and were caught off-guard, leaving a mess of a situation with the quality of the lives of women and children in the balance.
“It was the state they were in. They were traumatized,” said Johnathan Ryan, executive director of RAICES. “San Antonio is a sanctuary city. It doesn’t take a declaration, it doesn’t take a law.”
On Saturday, after a meeting with city leaders, ICE agreed not to conduct a release without notice again.
No more late-night bus trips. No more dropping off refugees at random bus stops or airports.
John Garland, a pastor at the San Antonio Mennonite Church, says that he hopes this new policy sticks.
“We don’t put our hope in programs and we don’t put our hope into short-term commitments,” Pastor Garland said. “We put our hope in human hearts being opened to the love of God.”