SAN JUAN, Texas - Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston just wrapped a visit to the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley.
DiNardo says he's returning to Houston with hope and is urging Houstonians to remember Harvey and the community response that followed when debating the immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"Remember Harvey. Remember what happened when Harvey came," DiNardo said. "We have a crisis. It’s not as intense as Harvey is, but in the long run, it will prove just as crucial and important that we come together."
On the heels of a Saturday protest through downtown Houston, where more than a thousand people rallied for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DiNardo said this about the curse words and name calling:
"I want people to be able to disagree. I mean, not everyone is going to agree with us, but I want them to do it in such a way that we can actually have a discussion. If you’re just name calling, then everybody becomes a villain," he said.
Cardinal DiNardo led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through a series of tours throughout the Rio Grande Valley. DiNardo and five other bishops toured a U.S. Border Patrol child processing facility, a privately-run shelter for unaccompanied children and a respite center organized by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
When asked about the processing center, which critics described as housing children in "cages," DiNardo said, "I mean, I don’t find it appealing, but I did not find it villainous or anything.
"The children who were separated from their families, their parents, need to be reunited. That’s already begun, and we’re pleased with that. But it’s certainly not finished yet."
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says it's repeatedly asked elected officials to consider and pass immigration reform.
Monday, while millions of Catholics continue to pray for the families who are fleeing their country to make the dangerous journey to the U.S.-Mexico border, DiNardo says, "Whatever may be, with people upset with the administration, or this or that, the place where this happens is Congress. And my hope would be to write, call, do anything."