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Local organizations weigh how to best help immigrant chlidren

Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will send 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, where more than 52-thousand unaccompanied children have crossed into the United States in the last eight months.

“I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor,” Perry said in a Monday news conference in Austin.

The surge of children crossing the U.S. border is being called a humanitarian crisis and has several federal agencies coordinating efforts to temporarily house immigrant children, process them and reunite them with family members.

The vast majority of unaccompanied children are from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  Humanitarian groups say poverty, increased violence and family reunification are some of the reasons children are fleeing their homeland and seeking asylum in the United States.

While several humanitarian groups and organizations are looking for ways to offer aid,  many say they are in a “holding pattern” while the federal government decides how to proceed in handling the tens of thousands of children who are living in overcrowded detention facilities.

The children cannot be placed into expedited removal proceedings under the provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a federal law which requires all unaccompanied children to be screened as potential victims of human trafficking.

Radio DJ Oscar Contreras says the immigration crisis is a huge topic of discussion on his Christian radio show.  He’s hosted several humanitarian  groups that say they are looking for ways to help, but admit the process is complicated.

“Some of  these kids are losing their memory because of the trauma they are going through, some kids don’t know who their parents are,” Contreras says.

Contreras says several organizations were discussing  potential aid last month when U.S. officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considered housing illegal immigrant children on the campus of the old St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville.  However, strong local opposition put the plan on hold.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Charities organization in Richmond tells CBS 6 that several aid options are being discussed, but no concrete plans are in place.

The organization, which helps refugees in the United States, says it’s difficult because the government has not classified immigrant children as refugees.

Richmond-based Child Fund is also coordinating efforts to offer aid, including education and health care services to children in South Texas, but has not yet finalized plans.

Under international law, children should be detained only as a last resort and for the shortest amount of time possible in the least restrictive setting.

“No matter what happens,” Contreras says, “We need to reconnect them to their families.”

14 comments

    • KnightOwl

      Agreed! They aren’t ‘victims’ of human trafficking. That is just a smoke screen put forward by the Whitehouse and their henchmen in the media & Senate. In the vast majority of the cases they (or their families) paid to have themselves smuggled into the USA. They are NOT refugees, they are NOT victims, they ARE criminals that knowingly & willingly violated our laws. They need to be sent back to their home countries on the first plane, bus, or train available regardless of their age. If they were old enough to make the trip here to violate our laws, they are old enough to make the trip back home. Period.

      • manalishi

        Less than 20% of this problem are children. What would you expect from a president that nominates a card carrying La Raza member to the SCOTUS

  • Y

    This is another presidential scam, orchestrated, in advance, for Amnesty for the World, at US tax
    payer expense. His Democratic tax exempt/non profits special interest groups are assisting
    his efforts. They get tax advantages, taxes, and donations from party to subsidize the party’s
    agendas. It’s a little like doing laundry, covertly.

    • manalishi

      NEWSFLASH! Faux news reporting that Robbie’s coming out of the closet party will be held at the carytown Frisco bar on Friday. No cover charge for anyone sporting a Barry Soertoro presidential J-rag! I truly hope your “fluffer” career is a success in this economy.

      • Robbie

        Manitushi…what you’re for this week, you’ll be against next week. A Republican flip flopper with no clue. Back to thinking with your little Limbaugh head again. By the way…you see Oliver North on Faux News last night. Iran/Contra ring a bell. Weapons for hostages in Iran of all places.

      • manalishi

        Sakes that was lame. Every name you drop does not apply. Seriously, is that the best you have? Get back in the closet circus midget.

  • ken

    “local organizations” that make a fortune off the tax payers for helping illegals.So robbie how many have you invited to stay at you house?I bet the same amount that are staying at the white house

    • Robbie

      I’m with the vast majority of Americans people on this. Send em back, do not let em pass go and definitely don’t give them a dime. So Ken let me ask you…isn’t Rick Perry wasting a million dollars a week putting troops on the border that can’t do anything but wave at the illegal? Seems like he’s wasting money for personal gain.

  • Allison Vick

    What about our homeless and our starving children here and the ones who do have parents,and those who need help to make ends meet?????

  • Southern Gent

    I support us helping these children and minors. That is the kind of society we have always been, helping those less fortunate. The level of violence in those countries is unimaginable here.
    Anything else is plain wrong.

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