Sister Norma Pimentel is one of the nation’s leading voices calling for new and more just immigration policies. As executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, she oversees several programs to help suffering families in her community. But she’s best known for her compassionate work and vigorous advocacy on behalf of migrants and refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Catholic Charities operates the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, which has provided services to more than 100,000 migrants since 2014. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Pimentel sees her work as a religious obligation. “Through our efforts, we’re actually saying to [immigrants] that you are important to God,” she says. “Our country can be a country that embraces and welcomes the stranger.”
This video was produced by Kim Lawton as part of “Spiritual Exemplars: A Global Project on Engaged Spirituality” at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, with support from the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton Religion Trust. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the supporting organizations.
Kim Lawton is a journalist fellow with the Spiritual Exemplars Project.