A Guatemalan man was arrested for allegedly breaking into a Budget Inn motel room in El Paso, Texas to grope and assault a woman while she was holding her one-year old baby, giving the child a bath. The alleged victim was also Guatemalan. This arrest spotlights the challenges that social justice activists face in their efforts to house the hundreds of migrants dropped off by ICE agents at an El Paso bus station after a court decision won their release.
The Budget Inn is reportedly housing some migrants for the time being. Francisco Tojin Maldonado’s arrest for burglary of habitation, in connection with the baby bath attack, has yet to be reported widely by the mainstream media.
Since the migrants dropped off at the bus station cannot be detained, it is unclear what is going to happen to them.
Texas Democrat congresswoman Veronica Escobar recently put the issue in perspective, highlighting the scourge of Sun Bowl college football players taking up El Paso hotel rooms that could be used to store migrants.
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“We have these teams coming in to play in our Sun Bowl this weekend and the hotels are booked. We’re facing a real crisis coming up … to find places for all of these (migrant) families,” stated Veronica Escobar.
Finding hotel rooms for so many people can indeed be frustrating.
Nevertheless, voices in the community are striving to enact change.
“But if I don’t live in El Paso, if I haven’t had the experience that we’ve had, if I live in Michigan, Iowa, Oregon, the northern border, I don’t … I may not know any better, and ‘Shit, the president of the United States just said that there are rapists and criminals and murderers who will chop your head off coming to get us. Fuck yeah, build a wall.’ And so … I can see responding that way,” said Democrat Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has taken to the streets of El Paso to communicate his message.