New York is among the states receiving the most unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border, new federal data show.
The data published Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families show New York, Texas, Florida and California account for 46 percent of the more than 30,000 children who have been released to sponsors this year through July 7.
The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children who have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S. because they believe they will be allowed to stay.
The New York Immigration Coalition says close to 3,300 unaccompanied immigrant children have arrived in New York since January, with almost 7,000 more expected to reach the state in coming months.
From Epoch Times:
Immigration service providers and the city are working closely to streamline resources for the 3,200 child migrants who have reunited with family in New York. But for the additional 10,000 who are expected to arrive in New York by the end of the year, it is unclear how such services will be funded for them. And for many, mental health care is a top priority.
“We need more resources to fund this,” said Steven Choi, executive director of New York Immigration Coalition. “Right now the government is taking money from existing refugee services—that are not well funded to begin with—to pay for this.”
The most important services the migrant children will need are attorneys and mental health care, and both are costly.
According to a United Nations report, 60 percent of child migrants are eligible for relief. The children, however, are not likely to receive relief if they do not have an attorney.
Most of the newly arrived child migrants have yet to go to court. But unaccompanied child migrants have been coming to New York for years, according to immigration attorney Marika Dias. As for those child migrants who came prior to the recent influx, 48 percent of them appeared in court without attorneys.
According to research from Syracuse University, 9 out of 10 children were deported if they did not have an attorney. As for the 52 percent who were represented by an attorney, five out of ten were allowed to stay in the U.S.
From the Observer:
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called on New York City to follow Syracuse’s footsteps and offer shelter to some of the unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children flooding into the country as they flee violence in Central America.
“These children are facing a horrific situation at home, which has led them and their families to make some really difficult decisions,” Ms. Mark-Viverito told the Observer at an unrelated press conference. “I think that we have a responsibility to respond to a humanitarian crisis that we have before us.”
As the federal government seeks a place to shelter children detained at the border as they await appearances in immigration court, some have been brought to New York to be placed in the care of relatives or sponsors here, according to The New York Times. Other cities, including Syracuse, have offered locations to shelter those who cannot be placed with family or sponsors, as reported the Times—and Ms. Mark-Viverito said Thursday she thought New York City should do the same.
“It’s good to hear that mayors like the mayor of Syracuse have said that Syracuse would have an open door and be helpful in the name of housing some of these children, and I think that we should do the same thing, and I think that we should be humane about the way that we deal with situations like this,” Ms. Mark-Viverito said.
She would be “more than open” to conversations figuring out how New York City could support the children, she said.