Sacred Heart Officials say Increase was Expected in Summer Months

First Increase of People Seeking Aid at Sacred Heart Reported

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MCALLEN - Sacred Heart Center officials say over the weekend they saw in increase of people in U.S. illegally seeking aid. 

Sister Norma Pimentel says on Saturday and Sunday a total of 50 people came to the center. 

Among them was a Honduran national who fled her hometown after she says her family was targeted by gangs. We are keeping her identity hidden for her protection, we will refer to her as Ashley.

She says when her family was targeted she had no choice but to leave. 

"My son, he was being targeted by criminals that wanted to recruit him. They would wait him outside of school and threaten him," Ashley said. 

The trip from Honduras took Ashley and her children about 3 weeks. 

"I came with my children in a train, walking, on a bus, we asked people for rides through Mexico," she said, "We paid for a boat to cross the river. We got to the border fence and that's where immigration picked us up."

CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked Ashley if she was aware of the current presidential administration's stance on illegal immigration. She said she was aware, but it wasn't going to stop her from coming to the United States. 

Sister Norma says the number of people seeking shelter are greater this week than last week. She says, "The numbers has increased slightly, not a whole lot, some days are high some days are not."

For several months the center reported low number of people seeking aid, but she said the increase was expected. 

"Border Patrol mentioned that usually around this time of the year some of the summers tend to go up," Sister Norma said. 

She says she doesn't believe this is a rising trend, but adds if the numbers continue to increase Sacred Heart is ready. 

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