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‘We cannot lose our humanity’

Sister Norma Pimentel  |  Issue: July | August 2019
Sister Norma Pimentel

Sister Norma Pimentel (right)


My name is sister Norma. I was the one that took the lead in organizing the human response to receive the many immigrant families that are arriving here from south of the border. Our community felt a need to respond and help these families.

We started seeing families that had been detained, processed by border patrol and then released by ICE. They were given permission to continue their legal immigration process at another point in the United States. They were dropped off at the bus station.

These families were lost. They were dirty, muddy, hungry, scared, frightened, children were crying, they were dehydrated.


children victims of U.S. immigration policy

The children who have died because of the current U.S. immigration policy.


We were able to care of their essential needs and restore their dignity, to have a sense of who they are as a person. We also helped them to contact their families so that they can get a bus ticket and they could move on to their next step in their journey.

It’s important that people see the truth, what we see here at the border. We see families, we don’t see criminals. We see children, moms, and kids under 10 years old who are in desperate need of help.


Oscar and his daughter Valeria

In search of a better life, Oscar and his daughter Valeria ended up drowned due to U.S. immigration policies.


They’re here asking for asylum, for life. They’re not here to harm anybody. They’re run away from being hurt themselves. They are victims of violence and they ran away from that violence.

Along their journey they encountered a lot of people who took advantage of them. They entered our country and found themselves also in great fear of what’s going to happen to them because they’re simply asking for refuge.


Joanna Medina transgender migrant woman

Joanna Medina (25 years old), a transgender migrant woman died days after being released by ICE.


They’re asking for an opportunity to be here until things get better in their country. It’s unfortunate that we are dehumanizing them, that we can easily discard them as if they’re discardable.

We cannot lose our humanity in the process of trying to keep this country safe. We must learn to differentiate between those families who are victims of crime, who are asking for help and those who are criminals.

God was so good in knowing how to make us as a human person that we gravitate towards somebody who is suffering to help them.

It’s nothing to be afraid of to reach out and help another human being that is in distress whether they should be here or not, that’s secondary because somebody must figure out the process of going through asylum claim and making sure that it’s done correctly and humanely,

But at the same time, we must also respect life protect it and defend it because if we don’t, then we are acting against our own sense of who we are as people.

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