DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The immigration crisis at the Texas-Mexico border is hitting home for a Dallas man.
Hector, who didn’t want to share his full name, said this week he found out his brother and nephew were caught crossing the border illegally one month ago.
The surprising news came in a series of phone calls this weekend.
He spoke through a translator.
“The first time he knew about it was when immigration called him to let him know his brother and nephew were here in the United States,” the translator explained.
Hector’s brother and 17-year-old nephew left Honduras two months ago.
When he first heard, “He was happy because they were going to have the opportunity to be with him here in the U.S. However, he thought initially that his nephew, the child, and his father would be together.”
But his nephew became one of the more than 2,300 youngsters separated from their parents at the border.
While Hector’s brother is being held in El Paso, his nephew is now more than 1,000 miles away in New York.
“He was very surprised.”
With a 1-year-old old daughter of his own, Hector has agreed to become his nephew’s legal custodian.
He went to Catholic Charities in Dallas Thursday to learn his responsibilities.
He will now have to make sure that he brings his nephew to immigration court on the date he is assigned to appear before a judge.
He also learned about the legal options that are available to his nephew.
Luis Arango, program manager for immigration legal services at Catholic Charities, says has helped more than one thousand people just like Hector during his six years at the agency.
“The custodian has to go through a rigorous background check and process not only for themselves, but any adult that lives in house the minor could potentially end up living once released from the shelters,” said Arango.
Hector doesn’t know when his nephew will arrive and when he’ll speak to his brother about what they experienced.
“He believes like many others, he probably sold any assets,, homes, cars, things like that in order to get enough money to make the journey.”