By Jessica Easthope
Church leaders agree – they say asylum is a human right and the way the humanitarian crisis at the Del Rio border is being handled is wrong.
“This situation, this cry for help, for survival hits home and hits us all here,” said Monsignor Pierre-Andre Pierre, the head of the National Center of the Haitian Apostolate.
Church leaders in the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of San Antonio, where thousands of Haitian migrants have created a makeshift encampment, say they understand the issue is complicated and there’s no clear solution.
“The situation is pressing because there are too many, but these people have been leaving very difficult situations in their home countries and they have been moving toward the border for weeks and months, some even years,” said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
The advice they’re giving is now is the time to act according to faith.
“They’re in desperation and they have been following directions and they want to make it right coming into the U.S,” said Archbishop Garcia-Siller.
“This is a Christian, a Catholic duty to welcome the stranger and help a brother and sister in need,” Monsignor Pierre said.
The Haitian Apostolate is meeting this week to strategize on what it can do to help at the border as it joins forces with the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Through Catholic Charities the Archdiocese is building a migrant center in Del Rio – one of its functions will be to help migrants with legal services.