Saturday, July 12, 2014

U.S. Faith-Based Groups Come to Aid Immigrant Children

As thousands of Central American children, some in family units, many with a mother, others completely alone seek refuge in the United States, a crisis has ensued. 

“In fiscal year 2014, an estimated 70,500 children are expected to get apprehended at the border — including 52,000 children from Central America,” reports Vox.  That’s up 92 percent from this time last year.
It is true that there are Americans who protest against these children, but, there are thousands who recognize the circumstance as a humanitarian crisis and work to provide basic human needs and legal aid.
Think Progress writes, “An unlikely coalition of faith groups are coming to the aid of unaccompanied children currently stranded along the U.S. border, with evangelicals, Catholics, mainline Christians, and even Glenn Beck setting aside some political and theological differences to call for increased assistance for minors ensnared in the growing immigration crisis.”
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) “… was founded by Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation to create a pro bono movement of law firms, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, universities and volunteers to provide quality and compassionate legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States.
“KIND serves as the leading organization for the protection of unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation. We achieve fundamental fairness through high-quality legal representation and by advancing the child's best interests, safety, and well-being,” explains the nonprofit’s website.
According to Giving City Austin, Catholic Charities of Dallas "are currently accepting monetary donations, seeking attorney volunteers and other types of volunteers. The Catholic Charities of Central Texas likely will aid these unaccompanied children, too.”
Other faith-based groups, like Texas Baptist Men, are already providing laundry and shower facilities at a Brownsville immigrant youth camp.

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