They've spent nearly two years in tent encampments in Mexico along the border with the U.S. and on Friday, some of the first migrants who are now allowed to come into the country under new rules from the Biden administration, will cross over.
About nine families will be arriving in the Bay Area over the next few days. They're coming because there's a network of volunteers, friends and family members to help settle refugees from central and South American countries.
Belinda Hernandez Arriaga, executive director of A.L.A.S. says her phone started ringing early Thursday morning.
"We realized that they were calls from families at the border that we had been working with over the last, nearly two years,” said Hernandez Arriaga, the executive director of ALAS. “They found out today that they were crossing into the United States to ask for asylum."
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A.L.A.S., a Latino community advocacy organization in Half Moon Bay, collected items to help support the families when they arrive.
Thursday, 27 people came into the U.S., the first to be allowed entry as part of a pledge by President Biden to wind down. A program by his predecessor to have migrants wait in Mexico while their applications to come into the U.S. are processed.
But 19 republican members of Congress wrote a letter to the Biden administration voicing concerns migrants could pose COVID-19 risks.
"We are particularly concerned that the Biden administration's actions could soon lead to a health crisis on the border and surrounding communities causing widespread COVID-19 infections and fatalities,” said the Republican lawmakers.
Catholic Charities on the order are helping with testing and other services. If they test positive for COVID-19, migrants won't be allowed to travel into the U.S.