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Catholic Charities Leads Fact-Finding Trip to Northern Triangle

Posted on April 15, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Explores Ways to Help Growing Numbers of Fleeing Children

Anticipating a jump from approximately 3,000 children fleeing Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and seeking help from Catholic Charities NY last year to an expected 8,000 this year, Catholic Charities NY organized a fact-finding mission to learn firsthand about the violence and poverty pushing children to flee and discover more ways Catholic Charities can help.  Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and fellow social service and faith leaders, announced the upcoming mission on April 4, 2019 at the organization’s main immigration office on Maiden Lane in downtown Manhattan.

“Our Catholic Charities team of lawyers looks at every single child, gives them a culturally appropriate assessment according to their age, from three-year-olds to teens, so we can give them age-appropriate help,” said Catholic Charities Director of Immigration and Refugee Services C. Mario Russell after Msgr. Sullivan introduced him.  “We provide consultations, legal orientations and meet with perspective parents and custodians to speak about their rights and responsibilities.   

Catholic Charities NY staff meet with children sent by Homeland Security from the border to nine facilities in the New York region including the Children’s Village, in Dobbs Ferry.

“We love working with you people,” Children’s Village President & CEO Jeremy C. Kohomban said at the gathering last week.  “Catholic Charities is relentless in their conviction and commitment to do the right thing.”

The number of terrified and terrorized children has exploded despite U.S. administration warnings of border closings.  Securing borders, however, does not mean the U.S. cannot continue to help vulnerable children and refugees fleeing violence, Msgr. Sullivan said. 

To explore this in depth, Msgr. Sullivan is leading a group that includes State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union CEO Stuart Appelbaum.  Planning to leave New York on April 22nd, the day after Easter, for their five-day journey to these countries known as the “Northern Triangle” they will meet with leaders from local churches, the government and Catholic Charities abroad as well as well as local children and parents.

“We also offer significant legal and case management support for children suffering, many who fled to the U.S. after witnessing multiple murders and threats,” Mr. Russell added.

“We need to learn how best to deal with their scars and wounds, both legal and emotional.”

Follow Catholic Charities NY on Twitter.for breaking news updates on the Northern Triangle trip.