It is midnight and the doorbell rings at the house of Sylvia, a teacher from the small historical community Roma, No Texas. The caller is a young woman, soaking wet and asking for help.
Sylvia lives in front of that sandy path Hundreds of undocumented immigrants They pass Rio Grande as soon as they land in the United States.
A man on the US side of the US-Mexico border observes Rio Grande in Rome (Texas) in a March 27 photo – photo: Ed Jones / AFP
Many people have mixed feelings: Compassion and empathy For those looking for a better future, as their own families did many years ago Care The fear of immigrants has been on the rise over the past two months, sometimes as high as 500 a night, with many families and minorities traveling alone.
“What are we going to do with all these kids? Where are we going to put them? We have people who need help,” Sylvia explains at the door of her modest house, where there are chickens and wild boar, and there are already installed security cameras.
The 58-year-old teacher was given dry clothes by a young woman who was almost submerged when a coyote fell from a plane and crossed the river, but she did not want to give up the phone, so she called.
“There are many, I’m afraid. Something has to be done,” he says.
Aerial view of Rome, Texas on the border between the United States and Mexico – Photo: Ed Jones / AFP
Rome is a national historical site established over 250 years ago and is also known as the best place to see birds.
The majority of people speak both Spanish and English, are of Mexican descent and work as civil servants or in pipelines. President of the United States, Joe Biden, Won the election here, albeit briefly.
The photos show the floor and people sleeping in the center for immigrants in the United States
“We understand immigrants because we know their experiences and their stories and our history. This is the only concern I have as mayor, only if it becomes a growing issue that we can not control,” said James Escobar Jr., mayor of Rome.
Families and minors surrender to Border Patrol (CBP) and are arrested. Unlike the government Donald Trump The kidnapper of minors, that Joe Biden is already trying to reunite them with relatives in the country. Some families will apply for asylum and may be free to wait for the trial. Others will be expelled.
Police in Rome (Texas) detain a group trying to cross the US-Mexico border on March 27 – Photo: Ed Jones / AFP
But adult immigrants also come alone and try to escape the CBP. This is not easy – There is a strong presence of law enforcement in and around Rome. Biden guarantees it The border is not open And all adults captured without documents will be deported.
In February, nearly 100,000 undocumented immigrants were detained on the border with Mexico, which returned from the recession in mid-2019 due to the Covit-19 epidemic.
“There is no one here who does not understand the struggle for a better life,” said Tina Garcia Pena, founder of the local newspaper El Tejano.
Tony Sandoval, a farmer living in Rome (Texas), observes the wall separating the United States from Mexico on March 27 – Photo: Ed Jones / AFP
“The government has to do something with these people, they are looking for a place to live, but there are many,” explains 67-year-old Tony Sandoval, who wears jeans and a hat.
Sometimes he feeds the immigrants, but he gets angry because the fence around his farm outside Rome is often broken.
Pointing to the incomplete part of the border wall – a symbolic Trump project, built of red iron between corn and cotton plantations – he admits he wants to finish it.
Biden, who is trying to change his predecessor’s anti-immigration policies, quit that job when he took office two months ago.
Pastor Louis Silva of the Bethel Mission Center, in support of the wall, greets the settlers near the river, gives them water, and accompanies them to the CPB. In his pocket, he carries his 9mm Smith and Vesna.
“There must be a way to prevent this. I was almost assaulted in my house,” one Honduran said.
“This is the Wild West here. We need to take care of our people,” he concludes.
But according to Noel Benavitz, owner of JC Rameres, a Texas hat and boots store founded in Rome nearly 200 years ago, this wall looks “always ridiculous” and “a waste of money”.
Wall on the border between the US and Mexico in Rome (Texas) – Photo: Ed Jones / AFP
The Trump administration had to sell its own land across the Benavitz River to build the border.
“(It) won’t stop them. You build a five-meter wall and they get a six-foot ladder,” the 78-year-old says with this thick mustache.
Texas is still Mexican, while Rio Grande is no longer a bilateral border, and his family has lived there for eight generations. “We didn’t cross the river, the river crossed us,” he says with a smile.
Some relatives were on the Mexican side.
“Now there are immigrants from all over the world,” Benavitz observes. “America has always been a melting pot of cultures. There is no reason why we should not welcome these people who want to work.”