Darrin Mortenson, who serves as the migration fellow for the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, reports on his visit to El Paso, Texas, in July, where he met with some of the Maryknoll missioners who welcome and accompany newly-arrived migrants despite the rising risks and complicated political reality of the U.S.-Mexico “borderlands.” The following article was published in the September-October 2017 issue of NewsNotes.
US Mexico border
On July 18, just steps from the U.S.-Mexico border, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, issued a new pastoral letter on the issue of immigration, calling for a moratorium on deportations by the United States until it adopts comprehensive immigration reform.
Maryknoll Father Paul Masson has served as a missioner in Chile and on the U.S.-Mexico border.
On July 25, nearly 100 environmental, faith, immigration, and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the members of the House of Representatives detailed our opposition to funding for the construction of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
On April 28, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined 38 national faith-based organizations and 41 state & local faith-based organizations and congregations in a letter to all members of Congress urging them to oppose funding for a border wall and further militarized infrastructure along the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead, we ask Congress to appropriate funding that supports our shared faith principles and reorients the Department of Homeland Security’s strategies toward more sensible and humane solutions that are informed by and to the benefit of border communities.
When Maryknoll Sister Lil Mattingly in El Paso, Texas, shared the urgent need for volunteers to help the growing numbers of refugees and migrants there, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns sent Alfonso Buzzo, our peace fellow, to live and work at Annunciation House, a home of hospitality in El Paso. The following article is Alfonso’s reflection on his month-long experience there.