A group of city commissioners in the border city of McAllen, Texas, voted in mid-February to remove from a building a popular Catholic-administered center run by Sr. Norma Pimentel, who has been praised by Pope Francis for her work with migrants.
America has a history of oppression of "the other" that renews itself over and over, unfortunately with the approval of our country's citizenry. As once we oppressed slaves, now we oppress refugees. A most painful suffering for slaves in the past and refugees in the present is separation of families.
For over ten years, Felician Sisters have been present to the undocumented and homeless in Pomona, California. But recently we realized that those we met on the streets were the "success" story — migrants who had survived, versus the hundreds who die in our deserts every year.
We've heard about the border's "security and humanitarian crisis," but we did not see any drugs, guns or criminals. We saw parents bringing their children to the U.S. so that they could live without the fear of violence or poverty.
You might have seen Sr. Norma Pimentel around: hoping to talk with President Donald Trump when he made his Texas-Mexico border visit in January; speaking at the United Nations; testifying before Congress; being part of an international satellite broadcast in 2015 with Pope Francis just before the pope's U.S. visit. But that's not all.
Spending time on the U.S./Mexican border in Texas working with those seeking asylum during the Advent season was, perhaps, one of the best preparations for Christmas. In the eyes of the men, women and children seeking shelter, I could see so clearly the face of Jesus whose parents, Mary and Joseph, were also seeking a place of refuge.
After an open letter to the president, Sr. Norma Pimentel was invited to a roundtable on immigration issues, but not allowed to speak. Behind her witness for more humanitarian treatment of asylum-seekers is a host of women religious who have traveled to volunteer at the border in recent months.
GSR Today - It is very easy — and natural — at this time of year to focus on the "Peace on Earth, goodwill to men" part of the Christmas story. After all, it is the story of how the Savior brings those gifts and many more to all humankind. But it is also the story of fear: thousands of years of fear
Catholic sisters, church leaders and United Nations officials are hailing a U.N.-sponsored global compact on migration that provides a framework for more humane treatment of migrants, though also expressing disappointment that many countries did not approve the agreement or attend the international conference that led to its adoption.
I who have taught a university class, "The Holocaust, Never Again," cringed as I listened to him and the others speaking on a panel sponsored by Project Lifeline. That project is trying to shine a light on the 134,526 refugee and immigrant children who were put in detention centers in 2017, after fleeing danger and hardship and seeking protection in the U.S.
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