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A Texas nun greets detained immigrants at the gate to freedom

A Texas nun greets detained immigrants at the gate to freedom

Sister Sharon Altendorf waits for hours in the bare lobby. A television blares Muzak and flashes photos of employees of the month. Nearby, a guard keeps watch next to a metal detector. The nun sits in a plastic chair, a diminutive figure beneath the harsh fluorescent lights. She is instantly recognizable with her cross earrings, short gray hair, mint green pantsuit and sensible black shoes. Fellow volunteers — drawn by the plight of immigrant mothers to this rural outpost amid the oil fields — make their way across the gleaming linoleum to greet her. Workers call this place a residential center for immigrant families. "The kids really have a hard time here," the...

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