A Tale of Two Americas

In the weeks since news broke that the Trump administration was tearing children from their parents, President Trump’s polling numbers have held steady. Even when asked about his handling of immigration policy, in particular, no shift has been detected. This reflects a disturbing truth about both our nation and present moment—there are two distinct Americas: One rightfully sees this cruel and deliberate abuse of migrant children as a moral abomination, while the other has so deeply swallowed our President’s dehumanizing rhetoric that they are nonplussed—or even cheer—when migrants’ human rights are violated. On my recent to McAllen, TX with a delegation of clergy from Faith in Public Life, I was struck by how starkly this split bifurcated the community. Over three days, we witnessed both our federal government’s inhumanity and the radical faith of those toiling on the front lines to mitigate its abuses.
A migrant father and his son arrive at Catholic Charities RGV after being released from detention.
In the center of McAllen sits Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV). Though it’s housed in a small, one-floor stucco building run by a skeleton crew of nuns and volunteers, the enormity of its ministry dwarfs its modest footprint. Every day, hundreds of asylum seekers are released from nearby federal detention centers and walk to CCRGV; they are often ill-fed, haven’t showered in days, and sometimes require medical attention. The center ensures they are able to bathe, eat a full meal, see a doctor and receive fresh clothes before they


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