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      Bishop Flores addresses border issues

      At a small gathering, Bishop Daniel Flores of the Brownsville Diocese sat with members of the media. The one hour meeting centered around border initiatives and immigration efforts as well as the violence in Mexico.

      Realistically we have to recognize that there is a number of people, especially women and children who are coming to the United States because of fear, said Bishop Flores. And it's a reality and it's affecting and separating families.

      Bishop Flores said there is a "steady stream" of refugees trying to escape their country's conflict.

      He said local efforts by police is crucial in deterring spillover effects.

      Flores also applauds federal efforts such as the recent visit by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

      I TMve always applauded efforts by higher department heads in getting to know local situations. said Flores.

      But ultimately he said ending violence is everyone's responsibility.

      I think there is a certain glamour around drugs that attracts young people, added Flores.

      I think we can be a lot better in the United States about talking about the damage that it does to families, the damage that it does to communities and the danger that it poses.

      And that education, Bishop Flores said should come at an early age.

      If we only focus on high school it's too late, said Flores. Because 12 and 13-year-olds are making key decisions about the course of their lives. The best solution Flores says is immigration reform.

      Promoting a good immigration reform will give us a much more realistic account as to who is actually in the country, said Flores.

      And it will help us to be able to distinguish families that are here for economic reasons or person who are here to do us harm.

      Bishop Daniel Flores will travel to the Vatican in March.

      He will meet with Pope Benedict to discuss border issues and how the church should handle them.

      In turn, the Pontiff will also be making his way to Mexico before Easter.