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Friday, November 13, 2009

November 12, 2009

We visited Casa del Migrante en Juárez, A.C. It was founded in June 1990 by the Scalabrinians priests as a shelter and place for rest for migrants on their way to the USA. In recent years its mission has change to accept the people who are deported from the USA back to México each day. Visit

It is now being run by 1 priest, 1brother, and 4 nuns all from Dominican congregations. Their objective is to treat these poor, rejected people in the most humane way possible. They go to the Santa Fe bridge several times each evening to pick up the people being sent back. They come back with absolutely nothing. Some have been mistreated along the way. Others have been robbed. Most have been at a detention center in the USA and come wearing wristbands Ids which some leave at Casa del Migrante near the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The men are very sad and depressed while the emotions of the women are so deeply felt they are in despair.

The Casa welcomes them, feeds them, and offers them a shower, a bed with clean sheets. They have a large section where they have donated clothes to make the returning people feel like human beings again. There is a chapel that is available as they begin to recover so they can continue their journey home. Bus companies provide up to 50% discounts on their tickets back to where they came from but they must find the other part of the fare themselves. People from Tijuana are returned to Juárez and those from Juárez are returned to Tijuana.

Returning people stay overnight up three days and there are exceptions especially for women who have been separated from their children. Most of those returning find their way back home but they have been so traumatized reentry is extremely difficult. The unemployment and economic crisis in México makes their lives chaotic. Resources for therapy and health is almost non existent.

The USA dumps people over the border it is a “Mexican Problem.” Meanwhile US trade policies, use of drugs, sale of arms has changed the culture of our Mexican brothers and sisters. The roots of poverty need to me explained more clearly in the US if we are really serious about building a peaceful inter-relational world.

Today, as we heard Rubén García said, one work of the MPT could be to develop language to speak to the US culture about the dynamics what is happening in Juárez. Rubén is the director of Annunciation house and invites people of the US to come for an immersion experience to analyze the reality of Mexican-US border.

Today we also met West Cosgrove, director of Casa Puente, who believes strongly that one of the causes of border injustice has its roots in the US immigration policies. West is working with immersion groups, giving lectures, and doing whatever he can to help people in the US to understand the crisis that has been created in Juárez and is growing bigger each day. No matter what wall we build or what arms we use, the answer to stopping violence comes with creating a better world for everyone on both sides of the border. Both Annunciation House and Casa Puente are located in El Paso, Texas. For reference check out www.projectpuente.org

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