I'm here to honor the sacredness of life
that I see at the border in south Texas.
I visited a detention facility
where hundreds of little children,
were detained for several weeks
in conditions that were very heartbreaking.
They were dirty and muddy
Their faces were full of tears.
I had the opportunity to go in and be with them.
And they were all around me.
They were little ones,
some of them not older than five years old.
And they were saying to me,
(Spanish) "Sácame de aquí."
（西班牙语）“Sácame de aquí.”
"Get me out of here."
(Spanish) "Por favor, ayúdame."
（西班牙语） “Por favor, ayúdame.”
"Please, help me."
It was so difficult to be there with them.
I started to cry with them,
"Let us pray."
(Spanish) "Vamos a rezar."
（西班牙语）“Vamos a rezar.”
And they repeated after me,
(Spanish) "Diosito, ayúdanos."
"God, please, help us."
As we prayed, I could see the Border Patrol officers
looking through a glass window.
They were at the verge of tears.
As they heard the children praying and witness.
I had a little boy get close to me, closer,
because they were all over,
we could barely fit in that little cell.
And this little boy tells me,
Quiero irme con mi mamá." Quiero irme con mi mamá.”
"Please, help me.
I want to be with my mother.
She is here, I was separated from her."
"Mijo, if your mom is here,
I'm certain you will be reunited."
When I walked out of the cell,
an officer got close to me and said to me,
"Sister, thank you.
You have helped us realize
that they are human beings."
You know, sometimes, no matter what job we have,
we must never forget to recognize
the humanity in others.
Otherwise, we will lose our own humanity.
Let me tell you a bit about what I see and what I do
in the southern border of the United States
where I live and where I work.
Hundreds of families enter the United States
by crossing the Rio Grande river.
And once they are in the United States,
many of them are given permission
to continue their process of immigration
at another point in the United States.
What has amazed me for all these years
has been the amazing humanitarian response
of the community there in south Texas.
Thousands of volunteers
have given of their time so generously.
For me, they're all amazing people.
And the whole community,
from local business leaders
to civic organizations,
all faith communities,
in the Border Patrol and ICE.
We have all come together in an effort to help
150,000 or more immigrants since that first day that we got started.
帮助这 15 万乃至更多的移民。
Back in those first days
when we were first involved in helping the immigrants,
we were at our respite center,
and an officer from the city walks in
"Sister, what are you doing here?"
I turned and looked to see what was happening
at the respite center.
I was amazed at what I was seeing.
There were hundreds of volunteers
helping so many families there that needed help.
Giving them ways to get cleaned up
and to get clean clothing, food,
Just love and compassion was seen everywhere.
So I turned back and I responded to him and I said,
"Restoring human dignity.
That's what we're doing."
I don't think he expected that answer from me,
because he took a step back
and then approached me again and said,
"Sister, if I had a magic wand,
what would that magic wand do for you?"
Sure enough, that evening we had a mobile unit of eight showers.
we had 100 percent support of the city government.
我们得到了市政府 100% 的全力支持。
wanting to make sure that we were helping
and be successful with our response
to so many families that we were seeing
I think that we must help others see
I think it's important
that we can share that with others.
You probably heard this idea before --
that we must always see God's children as equal.
But in order to do that,
I think it's important to be able to see them
To be able to have a personal encounter,
when we can feel what they feel,
when we can understand what they're hurting.
To really meet up with them.
It is then that we are present to them
and we can make their humanity
a part of our own humanity.
And we'd recognize
that we are all part of the same human family.
During those days,
I had a lady approach me and tell me,
"Sister, I am 100 percent against what you do,
helping these illegal aliens."
"Let me tell you what I do and why."
So I shared with her and introduced her to the families and the children,
shared the stories that they are living.
When I finished talking with her,
she turns and looks at me and says,
"Sister, I am 100 percent in favor of what you do."
(Laughter and applause)
That evening, her husband calls me,
"Sister, I don't know what you did to my wife.
But this evening she came home and she said,
'If Sister Norma ever calls you,
you make sure you do what she tells you.'
So I'm just reporting to let you know I'm here to help in any way."
Well, you know ...
I'm thinking that --
was it a personal encounter that she had?
I think it's a nice idea, a nice message,
but I don't think it's the whole story.
In that encounter, we must put aside our prejudice that we have toward others,
that separate us and don't allow us to see them,
our walls that we put up in our own heart
that keep us separated from others.
When we are able to do that,
we're able to reach out to them.
You know, I think what doesn't make it possible is fear --
that we're afraid.
And because we're afraid --
more than likely it's because we've seen in the media
all this negative rhetoric that we hear about immigrants,
they are demonized, like they're not human,
that we can discard them
and we can get rid of them,
and not even feel bad that we're doing that.
Immigrant families are not criminals.
Immigrant families are like our families,
like our neighbors.
They're good people
who are entering our country and coming to the United States
only simply because they're fleeing away from violence
and they want to be safe.
Unfortunately, what we see at the border
People are hurting and suffering.
Thousands of them are.
And mostly I feel
it's because of those walls that we put up,
that we have in our hearts,
that makes us not care.
So we have policies
that are returning people back to Mexico,
so they can wait.
And they wait there for months.
In conditions that are horrible,
where people are suffering and hurting.
And not even the means to be OK.
I think that it is true
that we must keep our country safe,
that we must make sure who enters our country,
that criminals should be put away.
But it is also true
that we must not lose our humanity in doing this.
That we must have policies and procedures
that do not contribute to the human suffering
that people are already suffering.
And that we can find solutions that are respectful to all human life.
if we can allow the best in us to come out.
Because what I see at the border
are families, men, who will take a child
and will try to comfort that child that is crying
because that child is crying for their own dad.
And these men are crying with that child.
I see men and women who drop to their knees,
As they pray in thanksgiving.
I see children who have been separated from their parents for months.
And when they're reunited,
they're afraid to separate themselves from them,
because they're afraid they will lose their mom again.
Once a child looked up to me after she was reunited
and she said to me,
(Spanish) "Hoy no voy a llorar."
（西班牙语） “Hoy no voy a llorar.”
"Today I'm not going to cry."
And I said, (Spanish) "Por qué, mi hija?"
She said, "Because I have been crying for the past whole month,
because I didn't know where my mother was.
But tonight, I'm going to be with her."
The day I visited the detention facility back in 2014,
说回到 2014 年， 我前去探访拘留所的那天，
there was a little boy who approached me and asked me
for me to help him find his mom.
Well, that evening, when I was at the humanitarian respite center,
the little boy walked in with his mother.
And as soon as he spotted me,
he runs toward me, I go down to greet him,
and he just throws himself to hug me.
It was so beautiful,
that was truly a beautiful human encounter.
I think it's humanity at its best.
It is what we all are called to do.
We just need to allow ourselves to get close enough to see,
and we will care.