Vice President Kamala Harris took off on Air Force 2 Friday morning headed to El Paso, Texas, where she plans to meet with Catholic leaders on the immigration crisis at the southern border.
Rebecca Scholtz has experienced firsthand how the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) program can be an “incredibly life-changing process” for undocumented youth, one that culminates with a green card and the ability to make a life for themselves in the U.S.
In the northern part of Donna, Maria Hernandez lives with her five children in a yellow mobile home. One of its shattered windows is boarded up; an air conditioner, propped up by a wooden pole, hangs from another. Among the items sitting on the ground outside are a broken toilet, a toddler’s car seat, and a mop.
Last Thursday, about 25 families exited a bus near a U.S.-Mexico border bridge near downtown El Paso. They had been flown in from south Texas, where they were apprehended after attempting to enter the country. Now, they faced expulsion into Ciudad Juarez, 800 miles from where they initially crossed.
The Franciscan-run migrant shelter La 72 has welcomed a steady stream of migrants since opening its doors in 2011 in this sweaty railway terminus near the Guatemalan border.It has also endured a steady stream of harassment — from politicians and police officers, immigration officials and even organized crime — as it tended to people fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.