Diverse Mix Of Harvey Evacuees Stuck In Houston Convention Center

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The diversity of Houston’s population is now mirrored in the hundreds of evacuees still left inside the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The Mayor’s office says 1 in 4 Houstonians were born in a different country. Such diversity has created special needs for foreign nationals who have just arrived in the U.S. and are now stuck in the shelter.

Among those evacuees is Francisca Ortega, a Mexican immigrant who has lived in Houston for 6 months.

She says she was pleased to see that the members of the Mexican Red Cross were given permission to come into the U.S. and help with relief efforts in Houston.
Much of the comfort she has received in the shelter was from her countrymen, there feeding and caring for evacuees like her who lost everything.

“I feel happy that they are here helping us in this time of need.”

The international evacuees go far beyond Mexican nationals.

Manuel Berjano is a Mexican Red Cross worker who is helping in Houston. He says he knows the political climate right now between the U.S. and Mexico is laced with rheortic about immigration and the highly debated border wall.

But despite all of that,  this mission is simply about helping those in need to Berjano.

“We really don’t think about the wall or all of that. That’s politics. That’s not our issue,” says Berjano.

On Friday a group of 30 General Counsels from countries across the globe were present to help evacuees who may need of their services. Many lost things like passports and documentation were lost in the floods. One of the 30 general counsels was Jose Bautista Sosa from Panama.

“For instance we had to deal with Panamanians who were in transit and were stranded,” says Sosa.

As of Friday night less than 2,000 evacuees remained inside the convention center.

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