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The Trickle Down Economy Is Alive and Well at Casa Juan Diego With So Many Poor: Tears Roll Down Instead of Wealth

On a Tuesday last November I was in a planning meeting with some executives of a local social service agency who were talking about the problem of food insecurity in Houston. It is a growing problem and an interesting discussion, but I said nothing, partially because I was late but mostly because I was exhausted…. continue reading

The Perils of Professionalism Or a Revolution of the Heart

My most recent trip to the Mexican Consulate was to accompany one of our guests who needed their help. At Casa Juan Diego, we spend a lot of time waiting in lines at various Consulates. Our guests need the services they offer, but the Consulates often seem overwhelmed by the number of supplicants. We did… continue reading

Deferred Action: Half a Loaf is Way Better Than None, But It Is Still Half a Loaf

Like 9/11, the June 15th announcement of the new policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was, for me, one of those moments when something so shocking happens that you remember forever where you were and what you were doing. I have so much invested, professionally and personally, in meaningful immigration reform that my reaction… continue reading

What Dorothy Day Has Meant To Me

By Dawn McCarty, Ph.D., LMSW Almost every day I hear and read about the problems caused by undocumented workers. They take our jobs, overcrowd our social services, take away resources from our children and get away with breaking the law with complete abandon! You would think they are some powerful alien group who threaten the… continue reading

“For the Worker Is Worthy Of His Hire”: Reflections On Day Laborers

Biblical scholars have suggested that the day laborers of Jesus’ time were at the very bottom of the working ladder. Even slaves were better off, in the sense that they had someone to protect them – they had value as the owner’s investment. I knew before I came to Casa Juan Diego that the day… continue reading

A New Mandate for Immigration Reform

As a social scientist by trade, my tendency to categorize human behavior carries over to my work as a Catholic Worker. I have noticed that there are basically two different types of guests that receive care, support and hospitality at Casa Juan Diego: those newly arrived, and those that have been in the United States… continue reading

American Madonna: Crossing Borders with the Virgin Mary. Orbis Books, 2010.

I enjoyed reviewing Deirdre Cornell’s new book, American Madonna: Crossing Borders with the Virgin Mary , partly because it is an excellent book, partly because I met the author in central Mexico in the early 1990s. I never forgot her; she is one of those people that linger in your memory. With my own research and… continue reading

The Sins of the Fathers? How Immigration Policies Promote Child Neglect

A few months ago a mother and father with two children arrived at the door of Casa Juan Diego unexpectedly–distressed, homeless, with very few clothes or possessions. I got the mother and children settled and comfortable in a room at our women’s house and the husband went to our men’s center. I did not see… continue reading

Death by Earthquake: Collateral Damages of Neoliberalism: Why Did the Earthquake Do So Much Damage in Haiti?

Every Wednesday evening at Casa Juan Diego we celebrate Mass in honor of our guests’ arrival in the United States. It is our tradition to ask one of the recently arrived immigrants to tell the story of his journey. Often these are harrowing stories, and usually it is very difficult for the storytellers to put… continue reading

NAFTA Key to Immigration Problems in the United States

Dawn McCarty teaches at the University of Houston-Downtown. “Illegal” immigration has become a hot-button political topic, but one aspect of the issue is rarely discussed: what happens to the families left behind in Mexico when the husband/father (and increasingly, the mother) immigrates to the United States? To find out, I traveled to 15 different communities… continue reading