Bishop of Brownsville sends message of support to border wall protestors
By Steve Taylor
Rio Grande Guardian
BROWNSVILLE, September 7 -
A spokeswoman for the Bishop of Brownsville, the Rev. Raymundo J. Peña, says the bishop wishes he could participate in Saturday’s border wall protest in Brownsville because he supports the cause.
Ina Perez, Peña’s secretary, said the bishop has two prior commitments on the same day that will prevent him from joining the grassroots Hands Across el Rio event.
“Unfortunately, Bishop will not be able to attend the event on Saturday,” said Peña’s secretary, Ina L. Perez. “He asked me to convey his sincere regret and to advise you of his prayers for a good turnout and for the success of this event.”
Peña has made his views on the immigration and border security issue very clear over the past few years. He spoke strongly against a border wall when addressing Diocesan Teachers at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, in McAllen last week.
The Brownsville protest starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Gateway International Bridge. Among the elected officials due to attend are Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada, and state Rep. Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville.
Meanwhile, Mid Valley residents opposed to the border wall have also organized a protest on Saturday. The event starts at 9 a.m. at the Progreso International Bridge. At 10 a.m. there will be a “Hands Across the River” ceremony, said organizer Juan Torres.
Excerpt from Bishop Peña's homily at OLS Teachers In-Service on August 31, 2007:
... I pray that the Holy Spirit enable the Legislature to design, and the President to sign, a legislative bill on immigration that contains a reasonable and orderly path to citizenship, a temporary worker program, and family-based immigration reform; a bill that reduces backlogs, restores basic due process protections for immigrants and avoids criminalizing them and those who assist them with their basic needs. Only a comprehensive approach to immigration will serve the best interests of our nation and protect the basic human dignity and life of the migrant. The construction of a wall that will tax the financial resources of the United States and destroy the good neighbor relationship that has existed between the United States and Mexico will not achieve our goal.
Needless to say, Reflections of the Spirit applauds Bishop Peña for his support in protest of this SENSELESS BORDER WALL that has the potential to cripple our Valley economy, devastate our environment and blight our communities.