Local Non-Profit Helping, Counseling Legal and Undocumented Immigrants

Local Non-Profit Helping, Counseling Legal and Undocumented Immigrants

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The number of legal and undocumented immigrants coming to West Texas is growing every day. But those looking for work are coming from a surprising place and Catholic Charities in Odessa is trying to help them.

Catholic Charities in Odessa is taking action to help legal and undocumented immigrants who come here to work. They can help with citizenship paperwork for those needing assistance.

"Immigration applications or translating documents, birth certificates or divorces," Irma Rubio, Immigration Advocate at Catholic Charities, said.

They even help with applications for deferred action. 

Catholic Charities also have their first counselor providing help to anyone who needs it.

"Dealing with life or staying in tune and being able to be a better parent or a better person, coping skills, life skills," Estella Molina, Licensed Professional Counselor, said.

More and more clients are seeking their services. Many, coming from an unexpected place.

"Cubans are starting to move here more often from Florida," Rubio said.

Unfortunately because the process is different for Cuban immigrants, Rubio says they can't yet extend their services to them. If you qualify, their services won't cost a penny.

"If they are below the poverty line, they qualify and they don't have to pay. If they're above, we can't help because this program is made for those who are in desperate need of help," Rubio said.

There was heavy debate on both sides of the topic.

Facebook viewer, Lloyd Smith, says, "They entered our country illegally, they should be punished. And the organization should be charged with harboring fugitives."

While Carolyn Relyea says, "Send them back, don't make it easier for them to stay."

For more on the services Catholic Charities provides, click here.