I recently learned, again, about the generosity of good and decent Americans trying to undo a little of the harm done to yet another part of the world by USG foreign policies.
I will write at length in later posts about USG responsibility for this particular crisis. For now let’s define the crisis and describe what some Americans, relatives and friends of mine in a little corner of Arizona, and various charitable and Federal agencies are doing to help unaccompanied kids fleeing the violence in Central America.
Until now, the US MSM has, mostly sympathetically, described the plight of and the reasons for Central American kids to be fleeing to the US. Here are some links to MSM and non-MSM web sites, Here and here and here and here.
There has as yet, been no US Media support for the American right wing nuts who want to immediately send the kids back to wherever.
Here are the results of a poll of Americans, in the absence of a PR program demonizing these kids:
Democrats (80 percent), independents (69 percent) and Republicans (57 percent) favor offering support to unaccompanied children while a process to review their cases gets underway.
Majorities of major religious groups say the same, including white evangelical Protestants (56 percent), white mainline Protestants (67 percent), minority Protestants (74 percent) and Catholics (75 percent), as well as the religiously unaffiliated (75 percent).
The survey sample of 1,026 adults was not large enough to capture the views of smaller religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims and Mormons.
“It makes a difference that we are talking about children facing violence and harm,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive of PRRI. “The value of keeping families together cuts across all party lines.”
Currently the Red Cross is working on-site providing a volunteer base to help with the children. They are actively recruiting mothers and fathers to travel to the Nogales Processing Center to play with the kids and provide comfort to the little ones that are afraid and alone.
The group, to which I referred et thebeginning of this post, which includes my friends, works closely with the Red Cross, the Border Patrol and other Federal agencies.
These Good Samaritans are bilingual and are the first non official contact the kids see. My contact said that 90% of the kids have a phone number. The volunteers contact the person at that number, ensure they are legitimate, and tell the adult how to navigate through the maze of immigration requirements. They spend time with the kids, play with them, collect their belongings and generally attempt to welcome children traumatized by an extremely long and dangerous journey.
My contact was very complimentary about the behavior of Border Patrol personnel. He said most of them really cared about the kids, and did their very best to assure the kids safety and comfort.
The volunteers are associated with:
“The Clinic was founded in 1973 by concerned individuals in Nogales, AZ and Sonora. When the Clinic outgrew homes in Nogales, Sonora, it was moved to an orphanage and ultimately to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Nogales, AZ. In January, 1990, St. Andrew’s Children’s Clinic received an IRS 501(c)3 tax exempt status.”
“Over the years, many St. Andrew’s parishioners have volunteered at The Clinic and provided financial assistance. Currently, 20-25 parishioners work as volunteers providing assistance in roles such as doctor, nurse, newsletter editor, Board member, kitchen worker, parking attendant, and interpreter.”
See a review in Yelp
The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization that works in the area of migration and is located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The KBI was inaugurated in January of 2009 by six organizations from the United States and Mexico: The California Province of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, the Diocese of Tucson and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo. The KBI’s vision is to help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.
Key name here is Father Sean Carroll SJ
In a national faith press teleconference today moderated by Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Assistant Director for Policy Mary Small, United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño — who just visited the Oxnard detention facility in California — urged the President and Congress not to expedite the deportation of children.
“We are asking President Obama, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to do the right thing by providing funding for the care and due process of these migrant children — including the full implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorizations Act,” said Bishop Carcaño…….
“Our unique and diverse voices — Protestants, Evangelicals, Catholics, Muslims, Jews — are united in sending a clear message on immigration to the President: Don’t trade the lives of kids. Central American children and families are fleeing for their lives,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, the President and CEO of Church World Service. “As a father, I can’t imagine the pain and burden that parents feel as they make the difficult decision to send their children away – because they know they will be safer on the journey despite how dangerous it is.”
Visit http://www.redcross.org/support/volunteer to find out how to become a Red Cross volunteer in the Nogales Processing Center.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is also present providing vaccinations, medical care, counseling, and recreational areas.
God Bless Americans!