Immigration is one of the big talking points expected at the Republican National Convention. Right now a refugee center in McAllen is seeing another spike in immigrants coming to the U.S. similar to years past.
News Center 23’s Derick Garcia spoke with those helping refugees and asked how they feel about some Americans seeing refugees as problems and not people?
It’s business as usual. Only with more faces as a rise in refugees is being seen at Sacred Heart Respite Center in McAllen.
Sister Norma Pimentel says, “On an average we’ve never had less than 20 people and now we’re having close to 200 people.”
Sister Norma Pimentel says she’s doing God’s will by helping mothers, fathers and children on their journey to a better life.
Sister Norma, “We have to not forget these are people, they’re human beings, somehow the issue of security has pushed that aside.”
Sister Norma agrees, the border should be secure. However, Republican opinion has changed the narrative of immigration into an inaccurate representation. Her evidence is the often the forgotten face during this political season. Children.
Sister Norma Pimentel, “It is them that are hurting. Tomorrow it might be us.”
Sister Norma is calling for volunteers. Brenda Rodriguez is a high school senior.
Brenda first came with her mom last summer, since then she’s brought friends and family.
Last year to this year, what have you seen that’s the same and what’s different?
Brenda Rodriguez says, “What I’ve seen is the happiness of people willing to help.”
Brenda says there is a better sense of preparedness as more refugees come through their doors.
Brenda Rodriguez, “Anybody who believes that immigration is can be solved with a wall and anybody who believes that these kids are not people and don’t deserve a second chance they should definitely come here.”
Sister Norma and Brenda both can agree, before you answer the call for a wall, come see the faces who have already crossed.
Sister Norma Pimentel says, “See that mother see that face see that child and tell me you should not give that mother that person the opportunity to clean up to feel dignified again as a human person that’s all that we’re doing here.”
If you’d like to keep up with the number of refugees arriving to Sacred Heart or for information on volunteering, you can find them on Facebook by typing in “Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley”.