Ruben Garcia, Founder and Director of Annunciation House in El Paso, Has Provided Shelter and Other Assistance to Desperate Migrants and Refugees for the Last Forty Years.

 Border Patrol agents drop off immigrant parents at the shelter at Annunciation House, as the director, Ruben Garcia, left, watches.

Border Patrol agents drop off immigrant parents at the shelter at Annunciation House, as the director, Ruben Garcia, left, watches.

From Angela Kocherga in the Albuquerque Journal

EL PASO – As the national outcry over the policy of separating parents and children at the border reached a fever pitch, Ruben Garcia sat in a tiny, cluttered office at Annunciation House and quietly reassured a distraught mother from Guatemala that he would find her little girl.

“I promise you, we will get her back,” Garcia, director of Annunciation House, told her.

The woman said the last time she saw her 4-year-old was June 15, and she had no idea how to find her.

Garcia apologized on behalf of a nation that had taken her child.

When she burst into tears, he reached into his back pocket and handed the mother a paper towel from a stash he started carrying in recent days as he comforts dozens of tearful parents desperate to find their children. He tried tissue paper, but it was too fragile and shredded easily as Garcia is constantly on the move and keeps a grueling schedule working to reunite families.

“I just think that that’s what God wants me to do,” Garcia said.

At a time of uncertainty, confusion and grief, he has emerged as a beacon of light for many families whose lives have been affected by the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, which separated more than 2,300 children from their parents, beginning in May.

The president’s executive order June 20 ended separations created when immigrant parents facing criminal prosecution were locked up and their kids were sent to far-flung shelters across the country.  Continue reading