Those Who Seek Safety are Deserving of Compassion

From Chelsea Norton, 2019-20 St. Joseph Worker

The below is Chelsea’s reflection on the SJWP’s trip to the Austin/Texas border in January 2020. 

When I arrived in Texas, seeing the asylum seekers at the Respite Center and along the Mexican border, all I could think about was Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women, where I work. I love the women there with all my heart. I have had the chance to see their courage, their resilience, their own love and character. I see the women of Sarah’s in all those women, children, and men at the border and at the Respite Center, seeking their second chance at life after surviving so many difficulties. I see people that are deserving of compassion. Knowing all that they have gone through to survive. Knowing that they would not put their lives, especially their children’s lives, in danger unless they had no other choice.

Everyone deserves safety and security. But due to what I have seen at Sarah’s, I also know what they will face in the US. That was my concern. I have seen how hard it is to live in a country that believes they don’t exist. There are no systems that help them start fresh in a new country where they are not established.  They are overqualified but undervalued and seen as under qualified. It is hard to get income, education, affordable housing, and security for asylum seekers when no one understands or cares to understand. I know that without Sarah’s support and services, which is one of a kind in the US, the residents at Sarah’s would not have help in their moment of need and that terrifies me. All those coming into the US are at risk of not receiving any services yet they are as deserving of help as the women at Sarah’s.