It’s great when the media covers a critical issue in a thoughtful way. That’s why I’m proud that an LIRS staff member is quoted in “Number of Undocumented Children Who Cross U.S. Border Alone Has Tripled,” an article on Stateline, the daily news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
In the May 9 piece, writer Pamela M. Prah investigates the rise in immigration to the United States by undocumented children. She notes that “The Border Patrol apprehended 24,481 unaccompanied children in 2012,” more than triple the number in 2008. LIRS is working to protect children who arrive under these circumstances.
Prah quotes LIRS Director for Children’s Services Kimberly Haynes on the important issue of what happens to children placed with sponsors, who “ideally are family, but also included are licensed programs willing to accept legal custody of a child, such as shelters for homeless youth.”
Prah writes that once the children are placed with sponsors, “the federal government often loses track of them. The families are largely on their own to take care of the children. ORR does not give them any subsidies, and the children attend local schools.”
The article goes on to quote Kimberly Haynes:
“No one really knows what is happening to these children. When these children are released to these family members, there is very limited support for them,” said Kimberly Haynes, director of children’s services for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Haynes’ organization is funding a pilot program to assess how these children fare.
“The trauma in which these kids survived to get here in tremendous,” she said.
I’m glad that LIRS could contribute to an article on this incredibly important topic, and I’m grateful to Stateline for contributing to the public’s understanding of the plight of these young migrants.