By Tim Harfmann
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, led the show of solidarity with immigrants on April 10th; “When the immigrant come to New York City, there are two women that meet immigrants — Lady Liberty and Mother Church.” Now, a coalition from New York will travel to Central America to have a better understanding of the migrant crisis.
At the Catholic Charities Community Services Center in Lower Manhattan, Catholic, political and labor leaders announced a coalition will head to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador the day after Easter. “We serve every person because they’re made in the image and likeness of God. They have status, despite what their documents may say,” said Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities in the archdiocese.
Monsignor Sullivan will lead the group to Central America, which will also include New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Retail, Workers and Department Store Union head Stuart Applebaum. They’ll meet with Catholic Relief Services, the international aid organization, which is providing help on the ground in Central America. Also part of the coalition is Jessica Garcia, one of the labor leaders and an immigrant from Honduras. She understands migrants’ struggles firsthand. “My mom lived with the family that she worked for; and I know, just growing up in that household, that you don’t have a lot of resources to work with. You’re not paid a whole lot of money. And the idea of getting an education and doing more with your life is really nonexistent,” said Garcia.
“We continue to be a city that welcomes and a city that encourages newcomers because we’re stronger when we welcome and we open our doors to them,” said Monsignor Sullivan. The goal is for the coalition to return with more ideas on how to help those coming to the U.S. looking for asylum and better lives.