A decrease in the number of illegal crossers apprehended by Border Patrol will not put a stop to the humanitarian efforts at one local church.
Leaders at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen say there is still a need to provide for those released from Border Patrol custody.
“There’s still people coming,” the Sister Norma Pimentel said.
The shelter at the church helped up to 300 people a day during the peak of the immigrant surge last month. Pimentel said fewer immigrants are searching for help.
“We have plenty of clothing, but sometimes not enough clothing for certain items,” she said.
Pimentel they have limited supplies of sweaters, undergarments, pants and bags.
“Blankets … we need those. They all want a little blanket when they travel with their kids,” Pimentel said.
“Because of the fact, that I thought the numbers were dropping, almost completely, we asked to stop the donations. In reality, soon after they drop a lot, they come back again,” Pimentel said.
The nun said every single dollar donated is being stretched.
“The funds that we’ve spent are donations given to us. We’ve spent all of that and it’s possible only because of the donations by the good-hearted people,” she said.
Experts are predicting a second major wave of illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley.
“We’re in constant dialogue with the Border Patrol, with the city officials,” Pimentel said.
Her faith has inspired pilgrimages.
“Washington, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles … you name a city in the United States and we have groups that come just to be here with us,” Pimentel said.
“It makes me rejoice that we in the United States have a heart,” she said.