Churches in a place where they are the only signs of hope
It's a humanitarian crisis that has riveted the international community: refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere seeking asylum from civil war and violence. Images of the small, drowned body of Aylan Kurdi ignited our consciences and challenged world leaders to begin addressing the needs of these refugees. The surge of unaccompanied minors into countries like Sweden mirrors the marked increase of Central American children entering the United States in 2014, fleeing violence at home.
A federal judge ruled recently that the three U.S. detention centers currently holding more than 2,000 women and children seeking asylum from Central America have three choices: Release just the children, leaving their mothers incarcerated. Entirely reform the detention center environment so that it’s not longer like a prison. Release everyone.
The driver would only take me to Mejicanos once he talked to my contact at St. Francis of Assisi's. The church is neutral territory in a bloody landscape.
Last year, the U.S. took thousands of "family units" into custody at the southern border. Nearly every woman cites violence as the reason she fled.
Obama's budget includes more money to detain undocumented children. At the largest family detention center, the average child is age six.
What does it mean to "turn to faith"? To gather in the like-minded and bar the door? Or to take a riskier move outward?
Instead of seeking the ability to deport Central American children faster, Obama should treat this situation as the refugee crisis it is.
Taking in refugees, giving asylum—these are things that generous people from a better place do for helpless people from a worse place. But we aren’t actually better.
In a caravan of 45 people, mostly mothers looking for their disappeared children, Santos del Socorro Rojas was one of the lucky ones.