U.S.-Mexico Border Volunteers Plead for Compassionate Solution

Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director for Catholic Charities, doesn’t just answer calls for help. She also makes a call from time to time.

“I said ‘Father Tom, I need to borrow your parish hall for a couple of days,’” Pimentel said.

Those days turned into weeks as the surge of undocumented immigrants continues along the border.

“That day we received 200 folks,” she said.

And the influx of immigrant children hasn’t stopped.

“Some of them have been traveling 10, 15, 20 (days), some up to a month,” Brenda Riojas with the diocese of Brownsville said “And taking great risks to come here.”

The border is just a pit stop on their journey.

“They just want their human basic needs met. They want something to wear, something to eat and drink, and to get clean,” volunteer Nancy Wagner said.

“You can almost hear the sigh when they walk in,” Pimentel said. “They’re finally in a safe place where they can get a meal and rest for a few minutes before they continue.”

They’ll continue on by bus to stay with relatives across the country, but while they’re future is uncertain, these volunteers will be here to help.

“Never imagined the magnitude of this, humans in crisis, but we’re here to continue as long as we can,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel recently met with lawmakers in Washington. She hopes whatever lawmakers decide to do about the crisis, that they come up with a solution that involves compassion.

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