The Department of Homeland Security reports that an estimated 47,000 unaccompanied children, some as young as seven, entered the United States illegally from the southwestern border region from October 2013 through the end of May 2014. That represents a greater than 100 percent increase over the entire previous year. Most of those kids were hoping to reunite with their parents in the U.S. while fleeing the epidemic of gang violence and civil unrest in Central America and Mexico. Many reported being assaulted or raped on their journey north.
Once these kids arrive in the United States, their psychological, emotional and physical wounds can be severe, said Mario Russell of Catholic Charities, which helps run a one-stop clinic that includes group therapy.
“Ten or 12 boys will get in a room together and they will talk about their experiences. And it’s amazing to see how they are finding solidarity, comfort, understanding and sense of peace. They get medical screening. They get dental assistance. They get food. They get this kind of totality of services. We keep them in the game,” said Russell.
Read the full story in Voice of America (VOA) News.
Do you or someone you know need immigration help?
Call the Catholic Charities–managed New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
Click here for more information.