Forced to flee their homes due to violence, gangs and crushing poverty in Latin America, innocent children have been torn from their families. After a dangerous journey, they now face incarceration and permanent separation.
How Catholic Community Services of Utah Is Helping
We are working to help protect children, uphold their rights and meet their critical immediate needs while we prepare their legal cases to stay in the United States. If children are found to have no legal guardian within the U.S., they may enter our Refugee Foster Care program. Our long term Refugee Foster Care program is one of just a few programs nationwide that provides foster care and legal services to minors who are fighting their deportation by applying for asylum or humanitarian visas. Together, we can keep children safe and well-cared for until they can be reunited with loved ones.
1. Many of the families and unaccompanied children arriving at the border are fleeing a wave of violence and human rights abuses. Many of the families are seeking shelter from violence in their home countries by requesting asylum (i.e. refugee status) in America. Catholic Social teaching reminds us that we have a moral duty to offer help and support to families and unaccompanied children who cross borders, especially refugees who request asylum in the U.S. We also have a duty to make sure that all migrants’ rights to due process of law, rights granted by the US constitution, are respected by our government.
2. Separating a child from his or her family unnecessarily is inhumane, traumatic and simply put, unacceptable. The cruel act of separation can cause severe negative social and emotional consequences for the children and their families in the days, months and years ahead. Evidence shows that children living in institutions away from their families are highly vulnerable to emotional, physical and psychological abuse, which can lead to lasting developmental problems, injuries and trauma.
3. The Presidential Executive Order addressing family separation achieves one thing: further harming already vulnerable children. As announced, the Executive Order simply replaces family separation with indefinite family detention. Family detention cannot be the solution, as it will not end the suffering of children or families, especially those already devastated by their initial separation.
4. Indefinite family detention is simply unacceptable. Family detention centers have been consistently found unsuitable and injurious for children. We have all heard the cries of these children from the border. We all must raise our voices and stand up for the rights of these children and their families who are petitioning for protection of the U.S. government.
5. We continue to urge the President to stop detaining children and families. We also ask for Congress to be vigilant and seek to find permanent, legislative means to protect families from any future attempts to detain and separate families.
3 Ways to Help
1. GIVE. Our programs are at the fore-front of providing legal and social services to immigrant families and unaccompanied minors. DONATE NOW
2. TAKE ACTION. Congress must act to reunite families and keep them together. TAKE ACTION
3. VOLUNTEER. Sign-up today to mentor an unaccompanied minor and help them navigate their new life in the US. VOLUNTEER NOW