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Approximately 60,000 unaccompanied children have crossed our Nation’s southern border in the past 10 months compared to approximately 25,000 in the previous 12-month reporting period. Much debate is focused on the legal vs. illegal aspect of these crossings, but non-debatable are the humanitarian needs of these vulnerable children and families.
“There was reason enough in the past to act, but this latest phenomenon has made it all the more imperative. It is reasonable to expect that the federal government would also, now, finally, respond with appropriate immigration reform. Urge your representative to do what is right,” states Archbishop Michael Jackels.
The necessity of a compassionate and charitable response to the needs of the vulnerable is inherent in our beliefs. We must also look at root causes to determine legal and legislative advocacy responses, which are appropriate for justice to exist. Toward that end, the Archdiocese of Dubuque, through its Catholic Charities office, has convened a group of concerned community members and proposes a multi-faceted response plan to include:
- Outreach and financial assistance to unaccompanied children and families who may take refuge in the Archdiocese;
- Financial assistance to those agencies that are providing social services;
- Coordination of immigration legal representation services to ensure due process is followed;
- Facilitate connections to bilingual mental health services;
- Communication of humanitarian and legislative action items.
The Archdiocese of Dubuque’s multi-faceted response plan is detailed in full here.
The official statement from Archbishop Michael Jackels can be read here.