Some 183 women and children seeking asylum are held at the Karnes County Residential Center, one of two family detention centers in south Texas operated by companies under contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Their plight is drawing increasing attention, fueled on the inside by a hunger strike and fast, and, on the outside, by legal jockeying and a recent visit by the head of ICE. At the heart of the matter are complaints of lengthy stays in prison-like conditions, as well as a question repeatedly posed by activists, attorneys and faith-based organizations.
Maryknoll Sr. Joseph Lourdes Nubla was born in the Philippines, where she attended Holy Ghost College and Maryknoll College, entering the Maryknoll Sisters in New York in 1960. She has served in a variety of posts in Hong Kong since 1964. She is currently a volunteer with Mission for Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, where she is an official interpreter and translator of statements, helping people from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and elsewhere avoid exploitation by people employing them as domestic servants.
I pulled into the empty church parking lot a few minutes early as the fresh daylight bathed the world anew. I stepped out of the car and stretched, grateful for the warmth after a long and fickle winter. Standing there, I wondered what the coming hours would bring. Today, I would drive a Guatemalan woman and her young daughter to immigration court in Cleveland, about four hours away. The social worker had told me that this would be the woman’s third trip to immigration court since arriving to the U.S. in November 2014.
The last nuns of Beuerberg Abbey have left. The monastery, founded in 1121, today stands empty in the snowy landscape of the Alpine foothills. "Oh, this is not the end! On the contrary," said Sr. Maria Lioba Zezulka, prioress of the Visitandine order, flashing a smile. "This is a new beginning on several wonderful levels! And not just for the refugees who may soon have a home within these walls." Zezulka and the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising have worked a deal to house refugees in the abbey. They hope that, within a few months, families from Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and other conflict zones can find a home here.
Women and children fleeing horrific violence in Central America remain caught in the wheels of the American legal system, advocates say, despite a February court order that the government take their cases seriously. More than 1,000 families are still in detention, mainly in Karnes and Dilley, Texas, where advocates say they are traumatized and depressed as their cases languish in the immigration court system. Advocates also continue to work with the thousands of other asylum seekers who are released until their court dates, providing legal and logistical support.
March 30: Faith leaders call for end to 'harsh policy' of detaining immigrant families on NCRonline.org
Several times a week, Sr. Valdete Wilemann watches scores of deported Hondurans walk down the stairs of a U.S. government airplane onto the tarmac of the international airport here. She ushers them into a church-run reception center at the far end of the runway, where the immigrants are welcomed home, offered a quick snack, and have their belts and shoelaces returned. The Scalabrini sister from Brazil has run the Center for Attention to Returned Migrants for 10 years, said she constantly fights seeing her job as routine. "I tell the Lord not to let me grow accustomed to the experience of the migrants
GSR Today - There have been numerous reports about the issues of detaining families who fled violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to seek asylum in the United States, from how they’re often deported before they get the hearing American law says they are entitled to, to how they’re being held in what critics say is essentially a prison. Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit hoping to stop the process.
Troubled Filipino Worker in Japan? Call Sr. Marcy. If you are a Filipino migrant worker in Japan who has had troubles with immigration, chances are you have heard of Sr. Marcy Jacinto. She is the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz nun from Zamboanga City, southern Philippines, whose name and mobile phone number are circulating in detention centers for undocumented migrants in Japan, or in homes of families of problematic Filipino workers.
"O King of All Nations and Cornerstone of the Church, rey de todas las naciones y piedra de la iglesia, come and deepen our love for all your people."
The annual Border Mass at the fence that marks the international boundary between the U.S. and Mexico was celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 22. Bishop Oscar Cantu presided with Bishop Mark Seitz and priests from the three dioceses: Las Cruces, N.M., El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, that converge at the site. The liturgy commemorates the lives of migrants who have died crossing the border and was especially significant in the wake of President Obama’s announcement of an executive order that will bring reform of U.S. immigration law.
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