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Migrants on Mexico's Northern Border Face 'Nightmares,' Priest Says

Carl Bunderson - CNA
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June 12, 2013
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Salvador Cardenas serves split pea soup at the Padre Chava breakfast center in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, April 19. Each day the Salesian-run kitchen and shelter serves 1,200 meals, mostly to workers who have been deported from the U.S. Cardenas had been deported that week after living in the U.S. for 22 years. He was staying and doing volunteer work at the center’s shelter. (CNS/David Maung)

TIJUANA, Mexico - Harsh conditions and persecution confront migrants in Mexico, many of whom have been deported from the U.S., according to a Salesian priest who serves the population in the border-town of Tijuana.

“This results in them being people with so many dreams that end up becoming nightmares,” Father Ernesto Hernández Ruiz, a member of the order founded by Saint John Bosco to assist the young poor, told CNA in early June.

Fr. Ruiz operates the “Padre Chava” soup kitchen, which gives breakfast to some 1,200 people daily in the city across the border from San Diego. Most of them have faced deportation by the federal government, some after having lived in the U.S. for numerous years with families and business ties.

“We try to offer comprehensive help – from basic aid consisting of meals, a place for them to stay if necessary – to assistance in helping them to move on with their lives, such as guidance on where to go to resolve a specific problem, or even support in returning to their native countries...or to their cities if they are from Mexico.”

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