Our discussion this Sunday morning was simply listening to the experience of Bev, our volunteer member. She went with several other women for a week to work specifically with children at a Catholic Charities Respite Center at McAllen, Texas. This center was created and is managed by Sister Norma Fimentel. I do not know how to even begin to write my reflection on this issue. I want to do something…but what?
The whole border crisis came alive to me as she described how the children would hang on to her asking if she could help them find their mother. How does one respond to a simple request like that? Everyday there are anywhere from 30 to 140 new children coming into just this one center. And today is World Refugee Day! It is happening on our watch.
Googling the Southern Border Wall I discovered there are sixty border walls in the world. The longest one is in Southern Texas. It costs us American taxpayers roughly TWENTY MILLION dollars a mile to construct. It is not just the thirty-foot steel pilings but the high-powered searchlights, cameras, and other high tech electronic equipment.
Most children and many adults do not speak adequate English yet the simple immigration forms are in English only. Seriously? All across Southern Texas, many if not most of our citizens are bi-lingual. Still 90+ percent of the immigrants show up for their court hearings.
Of the thousands of children that are processed, relatively few are from Mexico. Most are from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
I have not captured any statistics here, but they are readily available. We have the mightiest military in the world and we can’t do anything but focus on the “least of these?”
A question will be asked someday from each of us. What did you do for the refugee, the alien who lives next door, the Hispanic maid that cleans our hotel rooms or the workers who harvest our fruits and vegetables, workers who milk our cows and hang drywall in our homes? I know undocumented residents. What am I doing to make their life better? Some, I would call my friends. I have never even asked where they are from and how they came to be here and what their present economic situation is.
As a citizen of this country, we have an obligation, at the minimum, to understand what is happening. I have read two of the following; American Dirt,Enrique’s Journey, and We are Not From Here. At least read one of them.
I do not have a comprehensive solution, but I do know an injustice when I see it. I don’t have the solution for this crisis, but I sure know there are things that can be done, things that we can all agree on. Lord have mercy on those in power who have the influence and power… and do nothing.