- Jul 12, 2020
In an opinion piece in The Washington Post daily newspaper, Sister Norma Pimentel, known for her work with migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas, made a public plea July 6 to keep an eye on the plight of asylum-seekers during the coronavirus pandemic.
After visiting a group of pregnant migrant women on the Mexico side of the border, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, issued strong words June 25 about the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program and other restrictive immigration measures, saying that turning away those seeking asylum in the U.S. amounts to sending them to their death.
The recent decision by the Department of Homeland Security to extend restrictions on nonessential crossings of the southern border due to the COVID-19 pandemic did not surprise Catholics who work with migrants in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.
More than a dozen men, women and children provided a glimpse into the desperate living conditions they endure in Nogales, Mexico, while the world struggles with COVID-19. They stood outside the Migrant Outreach Center, in the Mexican state of Sonora, run by the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales April 23.
For years, Catholic-led, U.S.-based nonprofits have been at the forefront of efforts to support migrants and asylum seekers along the Mexican border. Tough new border policies, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have drastically changed their work, much of which now takes place in Mexico.
The U.S. Supreme Court in a brief written order March 11 granted the Trump administration’s request to continue to enforce its “Remain in Mexico” policy while it appeals a lower court’s ruling blocking enforcement to the high court.