Organizations preparing for immigrant children - - The News for South Mississippi

Organizations preparing for immigrant children

(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)

What will the U.S. do with the more than 50,000 immigrant children who have poured across our southern border?

While congress struggles to find an answer, a number of private organizations are stepping in to help.

For more than a decade, Isabel Rubio has been working on immigration issues through the organization Hispanic Interest Organization of Alabama, or HICA.

Immigration issues are nothing new, but she said they have been highlighted in the recent months due to the amount of children fleeing to the states from Central America.

"These kids are fleeing situations that are life threatening," said Rubio.

When asked if families were taking in unaccompanied minors in central Alabama and reaching out to HICA, Rubio said they really haven't been.

But she added that they are getting calls from families who are interested on how to help.

"What we are hearing about are our Anglo families or families from the host communities who are saying look, we would be happy to become foster parents," said Rubio.

That's where the organization Gateway comes in. "We are working with them to help them provide services to some of these minors who would be well served by being placed by this organization during the transition period," said Rubio.

Kathleen Ross with Gateway said the organization is working on securing a grant through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR.

That grant would allow Gateway to take in children if the need presented itself.

Ross said this isn't about politics it's about helping children in need.

If families do want to help foster these unaccompanied minors, they can contact Gateway or the Department of Human Resources.

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