DORAL, Fla. – A Venezuelan migrant family is sharing their journey to South Florida in an exclusive interview with Local 10 News.
The migrants, two men, two women and two children, escaped their country seeking a better life and said they walked through a jungle to get to Guatemala and Mexico, before entering the United States.
They said they were robbed of everything they had along the way.
“They took our money and we were left with nothing,” one migrant said in Spanish.
The six ultimately arrived in Texas. They went to a church where they were told to get on a bus to Miami.
After three days of travel and minimal food, they arrived into Doral and tried to find help. That’s when local law enforcement stepped in.
“Doral PD was the first ones to be alerted to them,” said Maureen Porras, an attorney with Church World Service. “And they were extremely benevolent in making sure that this family had housing for at least two days, and then called us and we made sure to help on the legal side.”
Now Church World Service plans to help them take the next steps.
“Obviously, there’s certain criteria that has to be met for us to provide the services and so asylum seekers usually do not qualify for refugee resettlement services,” Porras said. “And so what we can provide is the legal orientation to asylum seekers, which is exactly what we do through some of our programs that are low cost and also free.”
“We haven’t had a lot of these cases here in Doral,” added Porras. “To be honest, this is really an outlier.”