CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Here in the Coastal Bend one man from Cuba shares his experience legally coming to the United States and eventually to Corpus Christi.
Alberto Hernandez, a political refugee from Cuba, arrived in Miami in the early 2000s. In 2020, he made Corpus Christi his home. Now, he helps newly arrived immigrants become familiar with the documents and programs they’ll need to begin their American dream.
"This is a good proposal from President Biden," said Hernandez.
“I saw a possibility to complete, as they say, my American dream, which I've completed. [Texas] it's a state that's economically powerful," said Hernandez.
Hernandez said his non-profit organization called Latinos for U.S.A., connects migrants with programs that they don't know exist.
“Go to [department of] children and family, to get a driver's license, to find a lawyer," said Hernandez.
These are just some of the tasks he said he helps newcomers get started with.
“Because as they come from those countries, they don't know of the programs that exist here. We help them, giving them that knowledge and support them in filling out a work permit," Hernandez said.
“People come here to work," said Eduardo Canales, Director of South Texas Human Rights Center.
Canales said there needs to be social protection for migrants. When we spoke with Canales on January 6, he said he was heading to Eagle Pass, where officials were exhuming the bodies of close to 30 migrants found dead in Maverick county.
“So we’re not dealing with the human rights aspect of it; we have a humanitarian crisis that we need to address," Canales said.
"I came in the year 2007 as a political refugee of Cuba. I received political asylum in 2005, and the Cuban government didn't let me leave until November of 2007, meaning I was on the island for 2 years," said Hernandez.
Hernandez told us he graduated from trade school as an electrician and plumber, has 16 years of construction and experience in America, and has his own construction company called Maclaus Service LLC.
“I'm an immigrant, and I'm in agreement totally with immigration; what I've never been in agreement with was illegal and unsafe immigration.
Through his tough times as a political refugee in Cuba, Hernandez said he thanks President Biden for what he has done.
“So they sell all their things in Cuba to make that journey so they fall into the hands of "coyotes" and that's where there have been many dead, many disappearances, they lose all their money. And at the end, they get here, and then they try to enter illegally," Hernandez said.
"There will no longer be the need for these people who are dying from their regime, their dictatorship like we see so much in Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela, like Cuba, now they won't have the need to sacrifice their lives crossing all these borders," said Hernandez.