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McAllen Church Expands its Help to Illegal Immigrants

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Posted: Jun 22, 2014 7:06 PM

Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:10 PM

MCALLEN - A small McAllen church is expanding it's operation to clothe, feed and provide medical aid to illegal immigrants.

A fence divides a simple Sunday service from an emergency relief operation.

Priests and parishioners at Sacred Heart Catholic Church were forced to walk on the sidewalk as their parking lot filled with humanitarian aid volunteers.

Sister Norma Pimental said "This is something new. This is not something that has ever happened before."

Sister Norma says they set up the temporary operation just blocks from the McAllen bus station where Border Patrol drops of hundreds of families each day.

It's inside the church building where these families are fed and clothed.

Outside in the church parking lot, operations have already expanded after only ten days

"We have a continuous coming mothers with children," said Sister Norma.

Extra tents have doubled their sleeping capacity.

A designated city trolley keeps transportation to and from the bus station steady.

"We're only trying to give the folks an opportunity to rest and to clean up and to refresh themselves," said Sister Norma.

It's here, she says, they want illegal immigrants to feel human again. The favor is often returned with thanks and sometimes tears.

"I feel very happy."

The mother and her 8-year-old daughter came from Honduras. They followed the surge of families crossing the South Texas border.

"We sold everything that we had. We even sold the house, so if we go back to Honduras we have nothing," said the mother.

The relief comes with a clean showers and medical care from volunteers.

"I think they deserve to be seen by someone, they deserve to be greeted with a smile and if I can do that for them, that makes my day," said University of Texas-Pan American student, Daniela Garza.

Sister Norma says the church will continue house and care for the families as long as the humanitarian crisis is at their front door.

Topics: mcallen, illegal immigrants, church, humanitarian

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