Las Cruces Dioceses Opens Its Doors To Immigrant Families

Jul 2, 2014

Bishop Oscar Cantu announces the Las Cruces Dioceses project to house, clothe and feed immigrant parents and their children
Credit Simon Thompson

When someone is apprehended crossing the border illegally they are handed over to Immigration and Customs enforcement or ICE.

But they don’t have enough of facilities needed to house the minors and families coming across the border. So once they have been processed they are released on their own reconnaissance, while they wait for their immigration hearings.

Diocese of Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu is overseeing a project to take these families in. He says once the facility is set up at The Immaculate Heart of Mary church in Las Cruces they will be able to house between 100- 150 migrant parents and children.

“This is part of our gospel mandate to house the homeless, to give food to the hungry, to clothe the naked and so that’s precisely what we are doing and giving welcome to the traveler, to the migrant” he says.

The facility will house immigrants between 1 to 2 days, as they make arrangements to stay with relatives already living in the US.

President Obama announced announced his intention to use executive authority to fix what he says is a broken immigrations system. He says the inaction on immigration reform has left some people under the impression impression that even if they come to the US illegally they’ll still be able to stay.

But Congressman Steve Pearce said in a statement “The problem at our southern border is a tragedy that was caused the presidents own executive orders, that gave false hope to children and their families”.

The Las Cruces Dioceses has been taking guidance from the The Annunciation house in El Paso which has been housing and taking in immigrants for almost 37 years.

Director Ruben Garcia says in that time they housed more than 130,000 immigrants.
He says the influx of children and families coming across the border has less to do with US immigration policies and more to do with danger and insecurity in Central America.

“There is a lot of violence he standard structural institutions cannot provide people with security. The gangs  the corruption that comes with that has made the situation very untenable and people are choosing to leave”
he says.

Las Cruces Diocese had planned to house immigrants at a facility in Anthony NM, Bishop Cantu hopes running the facility in Las Cruces, where there is more population will make it easier to secure donations and volunteers needed to keep the project going.