Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services: Progress Ministry Highlight

September 02, 2020

DMRS  has been representing the mercy of God on the border of El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juárez, México since 1986. Meet a few key members of the team: Melissa Lopez, Executive Director/Attorney at Law, Father Antonio Martinez, Parochial Vicar, San Judas Tadeo, and Anna Hey, Deputy Executive Director. "…For I was a stranger and you welcomed me. — Matthew 25:35

DMRS Executive Director Melissa M. Lopez, a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, says that since 2019, her staff has helped more than 29,000 individuals resolve their immigration legal issues with representation in family-based immigration matters, survivors of domestic violence, citizenship and naturalization, services for adults and unaccompanied immigrant children, and religious workers, including foreign born priests.

The uniqueness of DMRS is its commitment to providing free and low cost services to those who don’t have the means to resolve their current immigration issues. DMRS does not charge for their legal services and their legal representation is made of nine attorneys and accredited representatives. Melissa said the DMRS team is currently working virtually due to the pandemic but that it has not impacted their ability or eagerness to help the community. DMRS has seen a rise in the number of people in need due to the current political situation and in need of financial resources, desktop computers and scanners for staff working remotely.

Progress, the Catholic Ministry Appeal provides operational funds on an annual basis for diocesan ministries like DMRS. Money raised through Progress represents 40% of all operating funds supporting the pastoral, spiritual, educational and human service programs that benefit thousands of individuals throughout the 10 counties of the Diocese of El Paso. You can help DMRS with a contribution to the Catholic Ministry Appeal. To learn more and to give, visit or contact Progress Coordinator Martha Marmolejo at or 915-872-8412.

"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me." — Matthew 25:35

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