SAN ANTONIO - SAN ANTONIO -- Donations are streaming in from clothing to food for hundreds of women and their children from Central America.
They were all released from the Dilley or Karnes Detention Center over the weekend.
Krizia Maldonado is emotional as she carries her daughter in her arms.
"We feel good. We have food. There's medicine for the kids, clothing. Thank God," she said.
She was on a month-long journey from Honduras to San Antonio and was one of hundreds of women detained in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas.
“There's a lot of violence in our country, and the kids are growing up in that,” she said with tears in her eyes. “So more than anything, it's for them."
A lot of these mothers and their kids are staying inside the doors of Mennonite Church thanks to a collaboration with RAICES, an immigration rights organization.
"It is logical that they come here seeking protection because that is what our country is all about," said Jonathan Ryan, the executive director for RAICES.
Ryan added that, since February 2015, RAICES has seen a surge in immigrant women and children being released from detention centers after they’ve paid a bond.
"It is illegal to keep children in for-profit prisons,” Ryan noted. “We usually receive 30 to 50 women every day at our shelter. We've received more women this weekend than we normally receive in a month."
That's why they are asking for donations and volunteers.
"It's Christmas. Its' cold and I brought clothes so they can be warm,” said Elizabeth Sandoval, who dropped some donations off on Tuesday. “I don't care who's here or for what reason."
Maldonado said that leaving Central America was a matter of life or death for her and her baby girl.
"I'm going to work here and give a better future to my daughter," she said.
Ryan is also an immigration attorney and said that U.S. law protects refugees. But the issue here is proving that they are refugees.
KENS 5 contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement for this story, but received no reply.
If you’d like to donate, you can take food and clothing donations to these locations:
200 N. Park
San Antonio TX 78204
803 Castroville Rd. Suite 218
San Antonio TX 78237
126 W. Rector St.
Anything from coloring books to tooth brushes to pancake mix are welcomed.
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