Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pope Francis will hold a Mass at the US border for migrants. Here is one family's story.

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Today, Pope Francis will hold a special Mass at the US-Mexico border to pray for those migrating to the United States across the Rio Grande river. Thousands of those who have made this journey were children and young teenagers fleeing gang violence and utter despair. 
Every year, our Immigration Legal Services team
 helps those fleeing violence start a new life.

We thought the Pope's message today, one of love and acceptance of those in need, was a fitting time to share some of the story from a client we are currently helping who fled gang violence in Honduras.

One client fled from Honduras when he was 16. His sister had been dating a gang member. When she became pregnant, he murdered her. His mother and brother testified in court against the gang member, and the family feared retaliation. Word reached my client the gang was seeking to kill him as well, thinking he would also testify. So he fled to the US. We were able to help him receive asylum, and are now also helping his mother and brother as well.

Finally, a thought from Father John:

"Today, Pope Francis calls us to be compassionate to those who take on incredible risk to try and live their lives free of violence, oppression and fear. While this is an issue with valid truths on both sides and a balance our political leaders must strike, I hope we all never lose sight of the humanity of each person and child, as well as the suffering that comes in every step of the migrant story. Many of the young people who eventually come to our doors are granted asylum or a protected status by a US immigration judge. It is a life-saving ruling."