El Paso Businesswoman Opens Shelter for Central American Refugee Children

El Paso Businesswoman Opens Shelter for Central American Refugee Children

"A successful El Paso businesswoman, moved by images of children sleeping one on top of the other on concrete floors in U.S. Customs and Border Protection holding cells, is trying to turn the former corrections facility into a home for immigrant children.  “Our community has been able to come together and mobilize very quickly to provide a real and viable solution to the problem,” Mamie Salazar-Harper said.  Harper and her husband, Thomas Randolph Rey, an attorney, are funding the effort to open the facility in El Paso themselves, and are using their business organizations – executives and lawyers – to attempt to knock down the large regulatory roadblocks that stand in the way.  Harper owns El Paso-based M Rentals Inc., which has a number of defense contracts and does work on military posts from California to South Carolina. She also served from 2005 to 2011 on the Texas State Family and Protective Services Council.  In a month, the couple found a building, negotiated a lease-purchase agreement with its owner, did repairs, furnished it, equipped the kitchen and filed for non-profit status." - El Paso Inc., July 13, 2014.