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For the past several years, nuns from Catholic Charities of Rio Grande Valley have been meeting border-hoppers at the bus station. They consider the ongoing plight of illegal immigrants streaming over the Texas border to be a humanitarian crisis, so it’s their duty to help, but now their actions are at odds with the Trump administration’s crack-down on this practice.

Representing 1.2 million Catholics in South Texas, Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores told that he disagrees with Trump’s approach.

He asked the president to tone down his rhetoric and warned him against the human “capacity we have to simply not want to see”.

Bishop Flores said: “Jesus didn’t ask us to check what papers they had, Jesus asked us to check: are they hungry, are they thirsty, do they need a place to stay?” understands that the buses that arrive each day in McAllen are arranged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Migrants who were a threat to public safety and national security would be far more likely to remain in custody, but a lack of space means that not everyone can be held.

The rest are taken in by Sacred Heart where such matters are forgotten and everyone is welcome, regardless of their background.

Sister Norma, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, said: “We help them because they’re people, they’re human beings and they are here in our country and they need help and this is what the community began to see, these families they were not from here and they were in dire need of help. We saw them at the bus stop, we saw them hungry and we saw them crying so our community responded. The families from our community have to help these families. I took the lead in organizing that desire that the community wanted to help. We saw the need to restore their dignity.”

Sister Norma said that when Trump was elected the numbers of migrants coming each day reached 400, though it has dropped off now.

She said: “I think before we can look at whether they have a right to be in the country we have to realize that they are here already and they need help and that’s a priority first for us as people to ensure that we take of someone who is in dire need of help.”

Speaking at his office in McAllen, Bishop Flores said that he saw parallels between the President’s treatment of migrants and the message from the Gospel of Luke.

One parable in particular talks about a wealthy man who shunned a beggar and was sent to Hades where he burned in eternity for being selfish.

Illustrations of the verse show the man walking over flames with fire coming out of his body as he pleads for mercy.

Bishop Flores said that If Trump were listing to one of his sermons he “wouldn’t look to give him a message” and would let scripture do the talking instead.

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