Alba Hernández and her young child got off a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bus in Phoenix, Arizona. It wasn’t where Hernández figured they would be after crossing the United States-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
Hernández says she emigrated from Honduras to give her children a chance at the American dream, but her experience in the U.S. so far has been more of a nightmare.
“Where I have been during the process, I have suffered,” Hernández told Fox News. “You suffer because you are not used to that kind of food, and you get sick. I spent five days with no food because I was sick from the stomach with fever… I asked for a pill or something, they told me they didn’t have anything.”
Beginning on Memorial Day Weekend, DHS began dropping off hundreds of undocumented immigrants at bus stations in Arizona. They were released without food or water in one of the hottest parts of the country.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer blasted the actions of immigration officials as “dangerous and unconscionable” in a letter to President Obama.
“That’s not a very humane way to treat human beings,” said Masavi Perea, a business representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Phoenix.
Perea’s organization has taken in over 150 immigrants, providing them with food, medicine, clothing and a place to stay. He says most of the women and children are from the most crime-ridden parts of Honduras and Guatemala.
“You see women and kids, and some people say, ‘Why’d they risk their life?’ And the answer is very simple. Because if they don’t risk their life here, they’re going to risk their life where they live. They have no defense at all where they live,” Perea told Fox News.
The union is also helping purchase airline and bus tickets to get the immigrants to their intended destinations.
Hernández told Fox News that she is trying to get to Maryland, where her sister lives.
She hopes one day that she can help her other four children immigrate to the U.S. When asked what she planned to do when she finally settles in Maryland, Hernández replied, “Work hard for my kids.”
Aalia Shaheed is part of the Junior Reporter program at Fox News. Get more information on the program here and follow them on Twitter: @FNCJrReporters