Best Way New Yorkers Can Help Separated Immigrant Children

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

At Catholic Charities We Know Each Child

Catholic Charities staff visit every one of the immigrant children separated from their families and placed by the Trump administration in orphanage-like shelters in the New York metropolitan area.  That’s right.  Every child. 

We know their needs. And we know how you can help. 

First, an insider’s glimpse:  Approximately 2,500 separated children were forcefully taken from their parents at the border during the past two months.  More than a quarter of these children, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo, were flown across the country and housed in children’s shelters across the New York Metropolitan area including Long Island, Westchester, Rockland County and New York City. 

The children we meet are mostly under 10 years old.  Some are toddlers.  A few are infants. 

We have the good fortune to serve these children because the Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts with Catholic Charities Community Services in New York to provide them all with legal screenings. After screening them, Catholic Charities lawyers provide free legal services to as many children as possible.  Others find attorneys from nonprofits organizations or private law firms. Those who don’t have lawyers but are still in foster care get “friends of the court” from Catholic Charities, who sit with them during any proceedings before a judge.

Although President Trump announced this week that his administration would stop forcefully separating children from their parents, distraught parents now face hurdles finding their sons and daughters.

“Recent minor policy reversals do very little to allay our distress,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan.   “It is clear that New Yorkers must stand together on behalf of vulnerable children and their families and to insist on undoing negative federal policies and the damages they have caused.”

Stand with us

Here is how you can truly help:

Catholic Charities uses attorney and non-attorney volunteers.  We are seeking support with:

  • Pro bono case placement
  • Pro bono legal research
  • Assessing the needs of parents with separated children
  • Foster care or sponsorship assistance
  • Interpretation and translation assistance
  • Immigrant integration assistance 
  • In kind and financial support


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