MIGRANTS are allowed to remain in the United States to pursue asylum are usually given a choice when they are released from detention in San Diego :

Go to the Greyhound bus station and fend for themselves, or try to find a cot and a shower at a local shelter.

One way or another, one the migrants had been dropped off by discreet  white  Immigration and Customs Enforcement vans in border towns across the Southwest, they are no longer the federal government's problem.

President Trump has tried and failed to end a practice he derisively calls  ''catch and release'', and thousands of undocumented migrants apprehended at the United States-Mexico border every month are still granted routine entry while their cases are processed by immigration courts.

But as the number of migrant families in recent months has over-whelmed the government's detention facilities,  the Trump administration has drastically reduced its efforts to ensure the migrants safety after they are released.

People working along the border say an ever larger number of families are being released with nowhere to stay, no money, no food and no means of getting to friends and relatives who who may be hundreds of thousands of miles away.

Federal officials say they are unable to do more to help the migrants, and local governments have often hesitated to get involved because of cost and potential liability.

Stepping into the void has been a growing number of charities, expanding along the border from California to Texas.

Dating back well into the Obama administration, when the surge in migrant families began, these churches and other nongovernmental organizations have strung together millions of dollars worth assistance to help keep migrants off the streets and speed their reunion with family members in the United States.

''The government isn't doing anything - it's been a total make-it-up as we-go-thing ,'' said Kevin Malone, one of the founders of San Diego Rapid Response Network, a consortium of faith based nonprofits in the area.

''People are working 24 hours a day trying to make this happen. Everyone is strapped.

The World Students Society thanks authors Jose A. Del. Real and Manny Fernandez.


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