For Central American asylum seekers traveling to the U.S., danger grows greater with each passing mile. Now, their walk of thousands of miles ends with an arrival in a no-man’s land. This area is run by no one…except, perhaps, the cartel. This place is Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
A border town that offers no future and no promises, Nuevo Laredo is one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. The only thing a migrant can be assured of here is the promise of uncertainly. “Will I ever leave here?” “Will I be returned home?” “Will I survive?”
Sister Denise LaRock, D.C., on mission in San Antonio, Texas, knows all too well the desperate uncertainties Central American migrants face in Nuevo Laredo. As a member of the Interfaith Coalition Commission, she collects supplies and donations, including food supplies, diapers, clothing, and blankets. Once a week, she travels across the border to a current group of around 90 individuals.
These migrants live in small shelters with little furniture. Due to a lack of beds, they sleep on floors or in the open courtyards in bunk-bed style cots. They are told to stay inside as the cartels who control the city are constantly on the lookout for easy prey. Migrants have been kidnapped, held for ransom, trafficked, sold, disappeared.
One of Sister Denise’s initiatives to help the Central American migrants was a letter-writing campaign. She asked for the migrants to send her letters describing the conditions they face in Nuevo Laredo. The letters speak of the fear they live with daily and the faith that keeps them alive. They speak of their worry of being sent back and their hope for a better future for their children. In turn, Sister Denise shared these letters with the media, stating, “My hope is that people … can have compassion.”
Compassion without borders; love without boundaries: What can you do today to help?