Texas diocese responds to immigrants' need in surge of children

Two young girls watched a World Cup soccer match on a television from a holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz., June 18. The federal agency provided media tours June 18 of two locations in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales that have been central to processing at least 52,000 unaccompanied minors who have been detained in the U.S. this fiscal year.

McALLEN, Texas -- Scared, tired and hungry, immigrants, mostly mothers with their children, have been arriving at the McAllen and Brownsville bus stations at odd hours.

Most hope to travel farther to connect with waiting family members.

They are among hundreds of immigrants -- mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala -- arriving daily, dropped off by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after being apprehended in the United States.

At border Mass, bishops call for compassion, immigration reform

A group of U.S. bishops, led by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, celebrated Mass at the border fence in Nogales, Ariz., April 1. The bishops were on a two-day visit to the U.S. border with Mexico calling attention to the plight of migrants and appealing for changes in U.S. immigration policy.

NOGALES, Ariz. -- With the backdrop a few feet away of the rusted iron slats of the 30-foot wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a dozen other bishops from three countries prayed April 1 for compassion and for a return to ideals that welcome immigrants.

Personal, spiritual side of immigration cited

Rudy Lopez and another participant in the Fast for Families in Washington, D.C. conversed while in the tent where they formed a community. Lopez called for prayer, fasting and action on immigration reform during a visit to St. Louis Feb. 12.

For Rudy Lopez, immigration is as much personal as it is spiritual.

Lopez was born in the United States and grew up among immigrants, including cousins who were undocumented and living in his home after having left Mexico. "I got a first-hand look at the pain and suffering and challenges they had," Lopez said. "I saw the toll it takes on the human spirit to be separated from loved ones. I also saw the great sacrifices they were making in order to provide basic needs for their families."

Immigration reform seen as way to improve lives

Naomi Carranza laughed with her friend, Grace Magee, at her locker in the hallway of Notre Dame High School in south St. Louis County. Carranza is a speaker on the topic of immigration and shares her personal testimony of the difficulties in becoming a citizen.

An attorney called it broken, a 16-year-old Catholic school student said it has meant that she cannot visit her grandparents and the former director of the National Farm Worker Ministry said it is a threat to the U.S. agricultural system.

Advocates on walk take a stance for justice for immigrants

About 200 people walked along the sidewalk on Grand Avenue in St. Louis on a 5-mile journey, moving in and out of a light rainfall. Others followed in a bus or in cars.

They carried umbrellas, pushed strollers and hoisted signs calling for justice for immigrants. Several wore bright blue T-shirts proclaiming "I'm an Immigrant Justice Voter."

Civil disobedience arrests punctuate immigration reform rally, march

WASHINGTON -- Attendees at an immigration rally Oct. 8 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., said, although they've been to many such events and are frustrated that they're still waiting for immigration reform, they remain hopeful.

Leticia and Alejandro Hernandez of Princess Anne, Md., carried signs explaining that they have been here since 1989 and that this is their home now. They told CNS that because of their undocumented status, they have never been able to travel home to see their parents in Mexico. They have four U.S. citizen children, two of them in college, they proudly said.

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