Pandemic, border crackdown hamper Catholics’ aid to migrants

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Pandemic, border crackdown hamper Catholics’ aid to migrants

Migrants rest in the chapel of the San Juan Bosco migrant shelter, in Nogales, Mexico. 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.
A migrant picks up a meal from masked workers at the organization’s site in Nogales, Mexico, near the border with the United States, amid the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Jesuit priest Sean Carroll joins a group of asylum-seekers from Honduras in the cafeteria of a migrant-outreach center that his organization, the Kino Border Initiative, operates near the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Mexico. Before the coronavirus gained global attention, Carroll’s agency opened the facility just inside the Mexican border. Carroll – who works full-time in Mexico – hoped to expand a twice-daily meal service but now amid worries about COVID-19, neither venue is being used as a dining hall. Instead, migrants line up outside the two buildings and approach the doors one at a time.
Volunteers give flu shots Feb. 21 to newly arrived asylum seekers from Central America at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter in Tucson, Ariz., Friday. The previous year, throngs of asylum seekers streamed through Casa Alitas. Now it’s often quiet because of tough new border policies and the coronavirus outbreak.
Volunteer Susan Gallegos talks to newly arrived asylum seekers from Central America at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter in Tucson, Ariz. 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.
Sister Norma Pimentel, head of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, greets a volunteer Feb. 17 at the migrant respite center she runs in McAllen, Texas. “We talk about being pro-life, and we’re OK returning families to places where they could be killed?” she said. “We need to hold our fellow Catholics more accountable.”
A map of the U.S. is pasted on a window with a sign saying: “Where are you Going?” at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter for migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty in Tucson, Ariz. The previous year, throngs of asylum seekers streamed through Casa Alitas. Now it’s often quiet because of tough new border policies and the coronavirus outbreak.

Pandemic, border crackdown hamper Catholics’ aid to migrants

Migrants rest in the chapel of the San Juan Bosco migrant shelter, in Nogales, Mexico. 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.
A migrant picks up a meal from masked workers at the organization’s site in Nogales, Mexico, near the border with the United States, amid the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Jesuit priest Sean Carroll joins a group of asylum-seekers from Honduras in the cafeteria of a migrant-outreach center that his organization, the Kino Border Initiative, operates near the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Mexico. Before the coronavirus gained global attention, Carroll’s agency opened the facility just inside the Mexican border. Carroll – who works full-time in Mexico – hoped to expand a twice-daily meal service but now amid worries about COVID-19, neither venue is being used as a dining hall. Instead, migrants line up outside the two buildings and approach the doors one at a time.
Volunteers give flu shots Feb. 21 to newly arrived asylum seekers from Central America at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter in Tucson, Ariz., Friday. The previous year, throngs of asylum seekers streamed through Casa Alitas. Now it’s often quiet because of tough new border policies and the coronavirus outbreak.
Volunteer Susan Gallegos talks to newly arrived asylum seekers from Central America at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter in Tucson, Ariz. 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.
Sister Norma Pimentel, head of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, greets a volunteer Feb. 17 at the migrant respite center she runs in McAllen, Texas. “We talk about being pro-life, and we’re OK returning families to places where they could be killed?” she said. “We need to hold our fellow Catholics more accountable.”
A map of the U.S. is pasted on a window with a sign saying: “Where are you Going?” at Casa Alitas, a Catholic-run shelter for migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty in Tucson, Ariz. The previous year, throngs of asylum seekers streamed through Casa Alitas. Now it’s often quiet because of tough new border policies and the coronavirus outbreak.
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