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Articles by Michael Seifert | Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network
At the U.S.-Mexico Border, It’s Time for Deeper Thinking

At the U.S.-Mexico Border, It’s Time for Deeper Thinking

The auditorium was packed at the human trafficking conference in March at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. Most of the audience were students; most of the presentations were by academics. The PowerPoint presentations and the discourse tended to be long on statistics. While the earnest professors kept the jargon to a minimum, the language [...]
The Need for Water Unites Us AllThe Rio Grande Valley is bounded to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, to the south by the Rio Grande River and to the north and west by an enormous desert of thorny shrubs. It is along the eastern edge of America’s southwest border. There are two highways that cross this border region. About 80 miles [...]
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Life-Changing Moments Require Courage and WisdomA few weeks ago, my wife and I, while on a late evening walk through downtown Houston, came upon an outdoor ice skating rink. We stopped and we watched. The scene mesmerized me. The rink was crowded. The gentle coordination and the accommodation of the skaters to each other amazed me. While most of the [...]
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Texas Residents Paint a Mural – to Welcome EveryoneEarly on an evening at the end of July, dozens of community members from Brownsville, Texas came together to begin to design a mural for the community clinic’s wall. The clinic’s pediatrician laid out the evening’s task. “We want to create a mural that says ‘welcome’ to everyone. What things should we think about painting?” [...]
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And Then There was Joy on the Border – for OnceA few months ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I was reading a book and wondering if it would ever, ever rain again in Brownsville. In this arid land, some older people believe that rainfall is a measure of the quality of dialogue between God and God’s creatures. I was convinced that someone in this [...]
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A Gift for the Kids From HondurasThe children from Central America continue to find their way to our southern border. There are fewer of the young people than a few weeks ago. But then again, this is the hottest time of the year, the worst time to cross Mexico. The situation has politicians in a huff. The more mean-spirited among them [...]
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What’s Driving Migrant Kids to Flee? Take a GuessSara is from San Pedro Sula, a large city in Honduras. She has wiry hair and a four year old who has figured out how to knot one of her bags to her small backpack. I met her in Brownsville, as she was waiting for a bus to take her to New Orleans. After visiting [...]
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Unaccompanied Kids at Border: ‘Nuisance’ or Blessing?On Christmas Eve, 1991, I was preparing to celebrate Mass. I was at Casa Romero, a hospitality center for refugees set up by the Diocese of Brownsville in response to a massive number of Central Americans fleeing violence by heading north to the United States. Because I had some time before we were supposed to [...]
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Alongside the U.S.-Mexico Border, There is a ‘Beast’Several times a day, a train rumbles through our neighborhood. Johnny Cash may sing wistfully about the lonesome locomotive’s whistle, but there is nothing romantic about this train’s horn. The blasts come every few seconds as the long line of boxcars pass churches, parks and schools. The constant racket of the rails is a reminder [...]
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From the Scripture: Strangers, They are Hungry and AngelsFor those who live alongside a border, hospitality is at once a virtue and an expectation. The coming and going of strangers is, at the same time, exotic and normal. The sharing of bread is a necessity and a privilege. As a border resident, I enjoy learning new ways to practice hospitality. Recently, I was [...]
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