For an inside look at an immigrant processing facility in Donna, check out another Sunday story in this special border reporting series.

HARLINGEN — Brown water ran out of the taps in Fidel’s kitchen. Andres saw once well-off people eating trash out of desperation. Javier’s family business was taken over by government officials. Adrian’s mother did not make enough from her monthly salary as a professor to afford a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola.

Harlingen Shelter

A group of migrants from Venezuela chat among themselves inside of Loaves & Fishes on June 2 in Harlingen.

Victor Rivera, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, a Christian nonprofit in Harlingen, explains how the agency is collaborating with federal officials to shelter migrants released from detention facilities.

Harlingen Shelter

Andres, 22, organizes his belongings inside of Loaves & Fishes on June 2 in Harlingen.

Harlingen Shelter

A GPS ankle monitor is strapped on one of the migrants inside of Loaves & Fishes on June 2 in Harlingen. After the migrants were processed, an ankle monitor was strapped on them until their court date, a migrant said.

Harlingen Shelter

Victor Rivera, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, poses for a portrait inside of his office on June 2 in Harlingen.

Harlingen Shelter

A group of migrants from Venezuela chat among themselves inside of Loaves & Fishes on June 2 in Harlingen. Victor Rivera, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said the shelter is one of the few organizations that provides immediate services for immigrants coming to the U.S. "We have a partnership with ICE and Border Patrol to receive any immigrants that are asylum seekers that need access to immediate resources," Rivera said.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to

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(4) comments

Rick Dockery

While homeless Americans scrounge for shelter. Just in Victoria we lack shelter. While legal aid is scarce for Americans. On the bright side, I have friends who came here when Chavez took over and are staunch libertarians here. There are so many countries that people would love to flee. I wish we could take them in. They are generally hard workers. Getting rid of food stamps, housing, welfare, would force more Americans into the workplace. The natural consequence would be less economic incentives for immigrants. We start at 20$ an hour for "difficult work" and can't find American applicants. I want a simple work visa program. With a work path to citizenship. We do have an immigration lawyer on staff. Again, until you revamp the welfare state, immigration will not curb. This goes for both mainstream parties. We haven't made progress since Reagan. One of our most loyal workers became a citizen under Reagan and still has his picture in his home.

Allen T Coffey

"Difficult work." What kind of position are you hiring for?

Rick Dockery

roofing and construction

Allen T Coffey

Yeah, that's hard work.

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