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How We're Helping Separated Immigrant Children in New York

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

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Msgr. Kevin Sullivan and fellow representatives from Catholic Charities NY joined and an interfaith delegation of 38 fellow religious leaders representing the Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and Muslim traditions at the Texas border today to show solidarity with immigrants whose families have been torn apart.

Clarification has yet to be offered in the order President Trump signed yesterday ending his administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border on what will happen to the 2,342 children already separated from their families and under what conditions children will be detained with their families under the Trump Administration policy just signed.

“We should not rest easy until any positive steps are fully implemented, monitored and that additional measures are undertaken to remedy the damages caused,” Msgr. Sullivan wrote as he prepared for his New York-Texas flight.  

With hundreds of separated children sent by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to shelters in New York, Catholic Charities, the leading provider of immigrant services in New York, has been drawn into the vortex. Catholic Charities NY Director of Unaccompanied Minors Program Anthony Enriquez described in an MSNBC interview today how staff wade through this crisis. The children, he said, are mostly under 10 years old. 

“Catholic Charities lawyers visit the shelter and meet with kids individually to make sure they are okay and see what is most their pressing need.

 “They’re all telling us ‘Where is my mom; where is my dad?  Can you help me find where they might be?’”

Catholic Charities staff has been piecing together clues on a case by case basis to help them. 

“We’re working with the shelter system to track them down because there is no system,” Mr. Enriquez said. “The federal government has no plan to reunite these children.  They never bothered to make that plan.”

Help us help separated immigrant children in New York