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Austin takes in Harvey refugees

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Jack Craver

As of Tuesday morning, there were 563 people fleeing Hurricane Harvey in four Austin shelters, reported Juan Ortiz, the city of Austin director of homeland security and emergency management, at an emergency meeting held by City Council early Tuesday. A certain number of displaced people are being lodged at the University of Texas J.J. Pickle Research Campus, LBJ High School and the Toney Burger Activity Center and Stadium. However, people seeking shelter should first go to the Delco Center, which is housing hundreds of refugees, a city spokesperson told media. Later, the city announced that the Austin Convention Center will be opened to shelter as many as 2,500 more refugees. If necessary, Reagan and Lanier high schools may be made available to flood victims as well. Mayor Steve Adler emphasized that people seeking shelter should not be worried about having their immigration status checked. In a Facebook post later in the day, Council Member Greg Casar said that he encountered people at a shelter who were afraid of interacting with government services because Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump, who visited Austin Tuesday, “have purposefully created this fear.”

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