RGV Bishop travels to Central America amid immigration crisis
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:28:46 GMT —
Friday morning hundreds of teachers heard a sermon by Catholic Dioceses of Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores.
He returned from a five day trip to Central America Wednesday night.
His message to teachers highlighted their power to guide children and keep them out of trouble.
He spoke about an 11 year-old Honduran boy who went to his teacher for help after gangs pressured him to smuggle drugs.
The teacher tried to hide the boy but gang members found him then brutally murdered him.
All of this to warn other children to not disobey their commands.
Bishop Flores said many children in the Rio Grande Valley are facing tough decisions concerning the immigration crisis.
Whether pressured to smuggler humans of drugs, Flores said it's up to teacher to reach out to these kids and help them make the right choices.
"My message was that although conditions are bad in Honduras and Guatemala and other parts of Latin America there are kids here in the Valley that face these kinds of choices," he said.
Bishop Flores also stressed the reality of violence children from Central America are escaping.
"Some very serious things, poverty, violence especially in Honduras, it's particularly gang driven," Bishop Flores said.
This fiscal year nearly 63,000 unaccompanied minors mostly from Central America have been apprehended by Border Patrol along the United States-Mexico border which is double the 2013 fiscal year apprehensions of 31,491.
Right now Border Patrol is apprehending 30 to 50 immigrant children daily.
It's a drop from the peak of nearly 300 children a day.
The decrease may be a result of efforts by the U.S. and Central American countries to warn families of the dangers children face on their journey to the U.S.
Bishop Flores said Catholic churches are also contributing.
"The church plays a big role in trying to support family cohesion and a sense of community," he said.
Bishop Flores also spoke about reports that children sent back to their home countries are facing violence or being murdered.
He said it's not confirmed but added that some agency should be tracking the children to ensure they are safe after they return home.
"That follow up is something that is very important because these children are at risk when they go back," he said.
Bishop Flores said he plans to write to congress to share what he learned on his trip hoping to provide insight to a plausible solution.