Debate Magazine

Want to Help the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children? Here’s How.

Posted on the 17 July 2014 by Alanbean @FOJ_TX
Unite image Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Crisis

Thank you for attending Tuesday’s Information Meeting. Below are some highlights from that meeting as well as new next steps for the faith community in Greater Dallas.

The Situation

  • 94,000 unaccompanied children are expected to enter Texas by the end of the year, most coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to escape extreme violence, trafficking, and exploitation.
  • The majority will eventually return to their home countries, but first a safe environment will have to be created there.
  • Up to 2,000 children are expected to begin arriving at 3 Dallas-area shelters later this month where each child will only stay for around a month while their case is being reviewed.
  • It appears that Dallas will be a new model of faith-based collaboration with the government as President Obama wrote that into the contract.
How You Can Help Now
  • Family and Immigration Attorneys and Interpreters. All of these children’s cases need to be reviewed to determine the best course of action creating huge demand for family and immigration attorneys and interpreters. Orientation meetings are currently being planned.including one coordinated by Children at Risk on 7/29. Click HERE to volunteer in this capacity.
  • Foster Families. Roughly 15,000 children are expected to be placed with American foster families through the existing Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program which includes an expedited screening process. For more information or to apply, visit the Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services or theUS Conference of Catholic Biships pages. Within the next 2 weeks we expect there to be information meetings for interested families.
  • Food and Laundry. Email [email protected] to be added to a volunteer waiting list. It is not known at this time exactly what volunteers will be needed for other than food and laundry services. We expect to also have information meetings set up within 2 weeks for volunteers interested in serving the children while they’re in the shelters.
  • Monetary Donations. Designated monetary donations are being collected byTexas Baptist Disaster Relief and Catholic Charities,
Expected Next Steps A government contractor to provide care will be named in the next few days at which time we’ll find out additional ways we may be able to help. Likely possibilities include clothing and toy collection, social interaction, medical aid, and trauma support. We will let you know as soon as details are released. Thank you so much for everything you’re already doing in the community. If you were previously on the Unite mailing list, you received a very similar message already. We’re in the process of figuring out how to best honor your inbox and still get everyone the information they need. In the meantime, if you’d like to receive updates about upcoming events and resources that will help churches transform ongoing issues in Greater Dallas beyond the Immigrant Children Crisis, click HERE.

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