SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A local nonprofit is working to help a group of Venezuelan migrants who are seeking asylum after they were flown from Texas to Sacramento.
According to the nonprofit, they were sent to Sacramento, with little direction, and no way to ‘back-track’ why they ended up here. Now, with no money or family in the U.S., the group is relying on Nor Cal Resist for shelter and legal help.
“They were paroled out of detention, which basically is like a status that allows them to be here in the country legally while they pursue that asylum claim,” Autumn Gonzalez, with Nor Cal Resist, said.
Gonzalez said Customs and Border Protection may have flown them out
“Now that we’ve talked to the guys more, we think we know what happened, which was Customs and Border Protection put on their paperwork and address for what they told them was a 30-day shelter in Sacramento, but it was actually just an office building downtown,” Gonzalez told FOX40 News.
Then, with nothing but a downtown address, they walked into the city. The group walked 11 miles from the airport to a building on Ninth Street.
But instead of a warm welcome, they were turned away from the building.
“We think it was a rogue CBP officer. Maybe they saw what DeSantis is doing is like, ‘I’m gonna participate in that; I’m gonna mess with these guys,” Gonzalez said. “They got to the address downtown on Ninth Street. The security guard said this is a closed office building. There’s no one here.”
Now, Nor Cal Resist is helping the group with food and shelter.
Immigration Attorney Katie Flemming said the group is lucky to have found a nonprofit like Nor Cal Resist to help them out because the legal process of seeking asylum is far from easy.
“Even just to get to your court, first court hearing, and then to go through the entire immigration process, it’s very complex,” Flemming said. “You are not appointed an attorney, you have to find your own attorney. And that’s not something that the government or anyone else will give to you.”
If not done correctly, the group could face deportation.
For now, the group remains in Sacramento until they can find a resolution here or a way home.
FOX40 did reach out to CBP for clarification but has not heard back.