Families Look to Pastors for Help about Immigration Concerns

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BROWNSVILLE – Immigration concerns still live in the Rio Grande Valley and people want to know what’s going to happen next.

Pastor Mark Redwine ministers to people who call a Brownsville colonia home and knows some of them are undocumented.

Redwine explained after the executive order on immigration was released, he started to prepare.

“There may be a little bit more trepidation about getting out of the colonia and going to get groceries, or getting out of the colonia trying to get to work than there has been. But that hasn’t been the case yet. But I’m trying to prepare for that eventually and stock up on food for the folks,” he said.

The pastor said he was overwhelmed with their questions on immigration.

“The main concern with everybody was what happens if the family gets broken up,” Redwine said.

He said the questions have stopped.

“We’re all just going to wait and see what happens,” he said.

Another church in Harlingen also waits. Pastor Peter Pinon said about 300 to 400 people fill up the pews at his church.

He said he’s aware some of the parishioners are undocumented but no one gets treated differently.

“And there’s not any way that you can tell the difference between an undocumented person and a person who has documents. Here, in a church, we’re not making that difference. We’re just saying that it’s something that’s good for everyone, including them, that we obey the law,” Pinon said.

Pinon knows their fears. His father was deported when he was a child and came back legally. He wants others to do the same.

“We need to work to help them get documented not hide the fact their undocumented. Help them get right so they can be here so they won’t have to suffer,” he said.

Both pastors said they will continue to give in donations, advice and do it lawfully.


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