• Conditons on the Border? Hispanic Pastors Give a Version Not Heard on the Mainstream Media

    I’d like to think America’s men-of-the-cloth would comprise a group of citizens we all could generally trust. If so, there is some decidedly heartening news from down on the border …

    From a July 2 piece by Faithwire’s Tré Goins-Phillips:

    A delegation of Hispanic pastors, led by the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, toured a detention facility in El Paso, Texas, last week, and what they saw was “drastically different” from the media’s portrayal of the situation along the country’s southern border.

    Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told reporters Monday he “was shocked at the misinformation of the crisis at the border.”

    Shocked? Misinformation? Would recent sensational characterizations of conditions at migrant holding facilities by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez be at least partially responsible for that reaction?

    [Rodriguez] told Faithwire via email Tuesday he is “totally baffled by the reports of politicians who visited exactly where I visited and saw exactly what I saw.”

    Rodriguez reports he and his fellow NHCLC pastors had full access to the facility for at least one hour.

     “What did our visit reveal? We found no soiled diapers, no deplorable conditions, and no lack of basic necessities,” he added, according to a press release.

    Rodriguez said Border Patrol agents “unequivocally denied” they had made any changes to tidy up the facility before the delegation arrived, claiming the space they showed them was in the same condition when a group of attorneys toured it a few days earlier.

    Rodriguez’s framing of the detention center? It was like a “summer camp environment,” he told the Religion News Service.

    The migrant children had access to TV, snacks and experienced friendly relationships with the guards on duty. …

    Prestonwood en Español Pastor Gilberto Corredera, in a recent interview with Faithwire , echoed Rodriguez’s claims:

    border agents have good relationships with the children, often spending their own money to buy food and water for them. …

    “I saw them so compassionate about it, so concerned about it, heartbroken for [unaccompanied migrant kids].”

    Christian author and founder of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, toured a McAllen, Texas detention facility a little over a week ago.

    He said many in the media “have not been truthful about what is going on there,” admitting there are major issues, but placing the blame on Congress for its inaction.

    Rodriguez concurred, agreeing the situation along the border is “a problem only Congress can really solve.”

    Demonstrating a genuine heart for the well-being of these young people, Rodriguez, lead pastor of Sacramento, CA’s New Season Christian Worship Center

    also revealed [last week] the NHCLC plans to launch a campaign — “For His Children” — to offer aid to immigrant children held in detention centers at the border. He said the initiative will send supplies, like clothes, water, and hygiene products, to the southern border,

    revealing to

    the Religion News Service the group may in the future provide shelter and foster care to migrant children crossing into the U.S.

    Contributing a marvelously sensible and nuanced perspective, Rodriguez mused,

    “It is the job of the government to decide who gets in their country. It is the joy of the church to serve those who do.”

    The forty-nine-year-old pastor has scolding words for both sides of the political aisle in this crisis:

    “What’s heart-wrenching is that we have both Republicans and Democrats alike in Congress who can’t come together for the purpose of doing the right thing and finding a solution to our immigration crisis.”

    “Please, President Trump, please White House, work with the Republicans and the Democrats [and] please, please, please, please, Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, please come together to solve this crisis, immediately.”

    Exactly the kind of non-partisan plea America’s governmental leaders need to hear not only concerning the mess on the southern border, but on a plenitude of other contemporary issues, as well.

    So where are the rest of the nation’s spiritual shepherds, stepping in, stepping up and speaking out?

    Image modified from:  Tumisu from Pixabay 

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