Posts Tagged ‘immigration help’

Surge in Child Migrants Reaches New York, Overwhelming Advocates

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

By Kirk Semple
The New York Times

“For more than a month, 16-year-old Cristian threaded his way from his home in rural Guatemala to the United States, hoping to reunite with his father, whom he had not seen in nearly four years. Guided by smugglers, he rode in cars, buses and trains, walked countless miles, dodged the authorities in three countries, hid out in dreary safe houses and went days at a time without food.

But Cristian’s trip came to an abrupt halt in March, when he was corralled on a patch of Texas ranchland by American law enforcements agents,” writes Kirk Semple today, June 18, 2014, in The New York Times.

Read more of The New York Times story below.  Learn the key role Catholic Charities holds helping young immigrants in need.

Now the daunting trials of his migration have been replaced by a new set of difficulties. Though he was released to his father, a kitchen worker in a restaurant in Ulster County, N.Y., Cristian has been ordered to appear in immigration court for a deportation hearing and is trying to find a low-cost lawyer to take his case while he also struggles to learn English, fit into a new high school and reacquaint himself with his father.

…Beyond legal help, the immigrants have other urgent needs that are not necessarily being met, including health care, psychological counseling and educational support, advocates said.

Mario Russell, director of the Immigrant and Refugee Services Division for Catholic Charities Community Services in New York, said a lot of the children had suffered trauma, either in their home countries or en route to the United States.

‘Over time, how do these kids receive the care that they need?’ Mr. Russell asked. ‘How many will be lost into their communities? How many are going to be sent to work? How many will not go to school? How many are going to be sick?’

Service providers have begun discussing among themselves how to deal with the surge at this end of the pipeline, and wondering where they might get much-needed funding to provide additional help for the growing population of distressed immigrant children.

As he considered the challenge, Mr. Russell remembered a case he had several years ago. He had been working with a girl, an unauthorized immigrant, to legalize her status. Her deportation was dismissed and she was finally approved to receive a green card. But before she received it, she dropped off Mr. Russell’s radar.

‘She just disappeared,’ he recalled. ‘She could’ve been trafficked, working in an apple orchard. I have no idea.’

Mr. Russell was never able to locate her.

‘Her card is still in my desk,’ he said.

Read the full story in The New York Times.

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.

Burned Down, Rebuilt and Cherished, New Community Center Both Reality and Miracle

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

By Alice Kenny 

At a grand-opening event marked by laughter, tears and gratitude, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan blessed the Catholic Charities Community Center on Adams Street last Friday, June 28.

“Isn’t this place something,” Cardinal Dolan said. “The word miracle’s been used and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. When you come in here you feel right at home…There’s a warmth; there’s an embrace…That’s what we like and that’s what people need and deserve.”

The building was bought by Catholic Charities in 2009 and was being renovated with a $2.1 million state grant after a fire on Dec. 21, 2010 wracked considerable damage to the three-story former St. Peter’s School building. The roof collapsed and there was smoke and water damage throughout the 18,000-square-foot structure.

On Friday, after offering his blessing, the cardinal splashed holy water and joked, “This is a fire retardant, too.”

The Catholic Charities center, formally known as the Father Edmund Burke Ulster County Catholic Charities Community Center, is at 6 Adams Street on a property perched above lower Broadway in the Kingston’s Rondout District. Fr. Burke, formerly the priest at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on lower Broadway, attended Friday’s ceremony.

The center was about a week away from opening when the 2010 fire set back the renovation effort. Following a second round of renovations, the center now is home to the offices for Ulster County Catholic Charities; a food pantry run by the group; the Agri-Business Child Development agency that offers early childhood education and social services to farm workers’ families and other eligible families; and a large gymnasium for Catholic Youth Organization sports programs. The gym hosted Friday’s ceremony.

Rebuilding the center relied on teamwork and hard work. Thomas J. Kelly, Regional Director of Ulster County Catholic Charities, extended special recognition to Johann Huleatt on behalf of the Bruderhof Community and Community Playthings for their gift of equipment and toys for the renovated waiting room and Tom Urtz and Lew Foote on behalf of ShopRite Supermarkets and the Wakefern Group for their donation of wire shelving and refrigeration units used in the center’s new food pantry.

“Who goes to Catholic Charities?” Cardinal Dolan asked a crowd that included Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, New York Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Kingston Mayor Shane Gallo and a host of others.

“People who have no where else to go,” he answered. “That’s what this is about…You got somebody hungry; You got somebody who needs legal help, … immigration help …a loving, safe, tender place for their kids. You need some place where our people can recreate. They come here because there’s a magnificent diversity of ways that we welcome people as family. We honor their human dignity. We recognize them as a child of God.”