A Week Out of El Paso – Letter from Sister Diane

Written on: November 27, 2023

Dear Friends,

I’m home from El Paso for a week now, but only physically! There’s not a day or a part of a day that I’m not thinking about the women, men, and children getting off the buses. They may be from Columbia, Honduras, Venezuela, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, or Nicaragua, but at that moment they are my flesh and blood, my sisters and brothers, that I am so lucky to welcome to the safety of Holy Family, El Paso, and beyond, I pray.

But according to a source we heard, only 11% of all these immigrants who cross our border get to stay. The Department of Homeland Security decides whether they have any legal basis to remain, if not they will be processed for removal and face consequences that include a minimum five-year bar on re-entry, or loss of eligibility to access lawful pathways, and potential prosecution for repeat offenders.

Considering the horrendous challenges they already risked just getting to our borders, it’s reasonable to conclude that what they would have faced by remaining in their home country must have been unimaginably dangerous! And having personally heard some of their stories, I really don’t have to imagine the danger, just the horror of living in it! Can you ever pay a gang enough to keep you and your family from being killed by another gang? And for how long? And after paying, is there any money left for food?

We know our southern border cities are in an unsustainable situation; we also know we are a nation of immigrants, like no other nation. To be true to who we are we must demand that Congress rewrite our immigration laws to meet the current situation with justice and compassion. It is possible, but a piecemeal rewrite is not the answer. The only law that we don’t have the right to change is the Law we call the Ten Commandments and their Gospel update called the Beatitudes. And if we are honest, they are the laws written on our hearts. They are what make us truly human and worthy of the gift of life. They must be the spirit in which and by which our immigration laws are made. Let’s continue to take every opportunity and make every effort to tell Congress this is what we want; nothing less!

Sister Diane

3 thoughts on “A Week Out of El Paso – Letter from Sister Diane

  1. Paul Michael Sundberg says:

    Sr. Diane, happiest of birthdays to you and grateful to God for your vocation and advocacy for our brothers and sisters on their journey to peace and justice from their homeland.
    As I read your reflection, I could not help but wonder what is in the hearts and minds of the leaders of the countries you listed that allows such disobedience and disrespect of their fellow man to impose ill will upon another and cause them to flee from their homeland. In other words, the root of the problem. No longer God-fearing? Should more attention be given to influencing a different behavior?
    Forever grateful for my St. Mary’s education from you and Sr. Margaret Ann and other Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.
    Thank you for everything you do; may God continue to bless your efforts.
    Paul Sundberg

  2. Sr. Donna M Lord, GNSH says:

    Thank you for your compassion and advo0cacy on behalf of refugees and immigrants. May we all find ways to welcome them and help them to be at home.

  3. Sr. Donna M Lord, GNSH says:

    Thank you for your compassion and advocacy on behalf of refugees and immigrants. May we all find ways to welcome them and help them be at home.

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