MCALLEN, Texas – Right now fewer migrants are being admitted at Catholic Charities of the RGV and instead the church is directing its resources to others in need.
There are only a handful of families at the respite center right now, due to concern of the coronavirus spreading. With fewer immigrants to care for, Catholic Charities is expanding their outreach to the homeless.
At times this room is full, but today it houses just three families. Catholic Charities of the RGV Director Sister Norma Pimentel said that ever since the implementation of migrant protection protocols, they are receiving fewer immigrants, and with COVID-19 hitting the U.S., the number has further declined.
“Border patrol has released just a handful of people on a daily basis, one or five. But I think as time moves forward, we will see much less,” said Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities RGV
Catholic Charities is continuing to serve the community by providing meals to the homeless. As businesses are closing to practice social distancing, leaving some employees without an income, others are stopping by for help.
“They get a bag with a ham and cheese sandwich, bottled water and some snacks. We give that to the homeless but now we’re seeing other people are coming to ask for it, so we’re going ahead and giving this to whoever comes through our door,” Said Sister Norma.
Sister Norma has canceled all upcoming speaking engagements to “flatten the curve.” She and others will continue making trips to Matamoros to serve families awaiting asylum there but are restricting the number of people who go. They are also refusing volunteers.
“The fact is if the virus comes to our area it’s because it’s coming from other parts of the nation or out of the country. So, we’re trying to avoid people from out of town to come to our area,” said Sister Norma
Sister Norma added that the most important thing to do right now is to remain calm, follow the safety guidelines set by government officials, and place faith in god.
As they are not accepting volunteers, Sister Norma said anyone who would like to help can do so by donating resources.