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Catholic Charities Heads Delegation to Northern Triangle to Shine Light on Struggle of Thousands

Monsignor Sullivan at Press Conference Announcing Delegation Trip

by John-Mark de Palma

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is leading a delegation of New York State officials to the Northern Triangle – an area that comprises Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Travelling with the CCNY team lead by Executive Director, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, are New York State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, and Stewart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). The delegation will meet with local church leaders, Catholic Charities organizations, and heads of state. “We know the global issues, but we're going to learn things that are surprising, and hopefully what we learn can impact what we're doing here and how we can help families to reunite," said Monsignor Sullivan.

Northern Triangle: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador (c) Google Maps

The group of 7 leaves on April 22 and the hope is to learn firsthand the issues facing tens of thousands of people in that area. The Northern Triangle area of Central America is plagued by gang violence and in 2015, the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime estimated that 17,400 people were murdered in that part of the world. The result has been a migration of thousands of refugees to the United States seeking a safer way of life. According to Mario Russell, Catholic Charities Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services, approximately 3,000 children from the Northern Triangle were assisted by Catholic Charities New York in 2018 and that number is expected to jump to 8,000 children in 2019. Many of the children now, “have mental health issues due to the trauma of their separation and violence they’ve witnesses in their home countries…they have PTSD,” said Luz Tavarez, Director of Governmental and Community Relations for Catholic Charities New York.  

Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs told the Manhattan Times that it is critical to shine light on the reasons why migrants continue to flee to the US: “It is important that we’re telling the truth about why people are coming.”


Related Content:

Tom DiNapoli joins Catholic group’s mission to Central America | New York Post

Unaccompanied Immigrant Kids Hit NYC Area In Record Numbers | Patch

Catholic Charities planning post-Easter visit to Central America to monitor refugee crisis | New York Daily News

Catholic Charities Leads Fact-Finding Trip to Northern Triangle | Catholic Charities of New York

Caravan of Care Delegation undertakes mission to Northern Triangle | Manhattan Times

Humanitarian Border Crisis Resonates WIth Our History | The New York Jewish Week, op-ed