EL PASO, Texas (Nexstar) — As President Biden wraps up his first presidential visit to the US southern border, people seeking shelter and warmth outside El Paso’s Sacred Heart Church are hoping he’ll take a little peek into their reality.
“We know we broke the law,” said John Carrasquero, who left his young daughter in Venezuela and illegally moved to the US seven days ago. “But if we have the opportunity, we can change something. For example, I would like to work because I have a family. I would like to help my family, as well as myself, change my life.”
The Church of the Sacred Heart has become a haven for migrants since the number of border crossings in the city skyrocketed late last year. Even though the crowds have shrunk significantly over the past week, hundreds of people are still waiting there for help.
Some lined up for meager boxes of donated bananas and a sweet pot while small children pushed toys around on the sidewalk lined with sleeping bags. One man lounged in the shade of the city’s garbage cans, lighting up a sign that read “We are the people.”
“It was a blessing, but also overwhelming,” said Pastor Timothy Perea. “The blessing is that we can bring local congregations, churches together to come together and provide shelter, food, clothing, hope and whatever they need.”
Biden visits El Paso, makes a surprise stop
After Air Force One landed in El Paso, Biden met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on the airport runway, where Abbott handed a letter to the president.
On their way to the El Paso County Migrant Services Center, Biden’s motorcade suddenly stopped at a border fence and looked through the wire at the city of Juarez.
“They need a lot of resources. We’re going to get it for them,” Biden said, answering a press question about Abbott’s letter.
After that, Biden visited the center for migrants, which receives from 300 to 500 migrants daily. He returned to Air Force One, leaving around 4:30 p.m. Sunday for Mexico City.
Biden didn’t see the scene outside of Sacred Heart.
“Let him meet the people who are here, let him hear their stories,” said Blake Barrow, executive director of the El Paso Rescue Mission.
In Mexico, Biden will meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador to discuss supply chains, security, fentanyl and migration.