Support for Unaccompanied Children at the Border
We are facing an escalating humanitarian crisis as a growing
number of unaccompanied children cross the U.S.–Mexico border at an increasing and
alarming rate. So far in FY 2014 alone 47,000 children have migrated to the
The face of these children has inundated the news cycle as
the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services (HHS) attempt
to address the needs of the newly arrived. It is from dire circumstances that a child chooses
to migrate thousands of miles. As people of faith we have an ethical obligation
to care for the most vulnerable among us. The root causes of these changing
migration patterns are extreme poverty, violence, and rising homicide rates in
El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, from which most of the children are
At our most recent gathering our General Synod called on the churches
of the United Church of Christ to respond to violence
and human rights violations in Honduras in a spirit of
solidarity, and to hold the people of Honduras in prayer. Many UCC Congregations
across the country are wondering how they can help in this time of crisis. Currently
the government is fulfilling its obligation to care for these children and there
is currently no need for individual food or supply donations.
can help to ensure that the U.S. refugee services programs, which help serve
the needs of these young people and other families fleeing violence, are funded
appropriately so they can continue to meet this growing need.
Under the law, HHS is responsible for
feeding and caring for the children after border security officials take them
into their custody. The department carries the largest share of costs in handling
the response to this crisis.
Your voice can make a difference! The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services has recommended an additional $1.9 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to fund the care of unaccompanied children, in addition to its requested budget to help refugees and other vulnerable migrants in its care. Now the House must act.
on your Representative today to urge the House Appropriations Committee to
approve and increase the $1.9 billion that the Senate subcommittee recommends
for the Department
of Health and Human Services’ Office
of Refugee Resettlement to help these children.
Read the UCC response to crisis of unaccompanied minors from Central America for more information and other ways to engage.
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