MCALLEN, RGV – On Sunday, June 9, 2019, Auxiliary Bishop Mario A. Avilés blessed a new location for McAllen’s Humanitarian Respite Center.

The center, just across the street from the downtown bus station, has been acquired by the City of McAllen.

It will host asylum seekers dropped off by Border Patrol. The asylum seekers will be provided free food and clothing and a place to stay overnight, before they head out to other parts of the country.

Among the speakers at the event were Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, and state Sen. Juan Hinojosa.

All three were asked to respond to the claims of some McAllen residents that the City of McAllen’s involvement showed McAllen is a Sanctuary City.