Let The Little Children Come To Me

By Cindy Gomez-SchemppLet the little children come to me (1)

They are coming, by the thousands. Crossing some of the most treacherous and dangerous lands, narrowly escaping violence and death at every step, the children of Mexico, Central and South America are coming. And we welcome them. After all, children are the most valued humans to every culture known to man. Treasures, would be a great way to describe them. In every single world culture children are prized above adults, and the elderly and they are fiercely  protected from harm.

By the end of the year it is estimated that 90,000 plus children will have crossed our southern border, but nobody really knows for sure how many are coming. That’s because the conditions in their countries of origin are undergoing intense violence, corruption, poverty, and death. Many of them have no choice but to flee or stay and face their death. This exodus of children may increase, but it cannot be halted until the places where they come from are no longer cauldrons of suffering and death.

Many countries have recently and historically faced an influx of refugees displaced by wars or  natural disasters flooding neighboring countries with hundreds of thousands and in many cases millions upon millions of desperate refugees. The host countries often experience challenges to house, feed, and aid the new arrivals. In this instance, however, it is the United States herself who is responsible for the destabilization of these children’s home countries, economies, and justice systems due our influence, money, pro-free market trading policies (like NAFTA), and military incursions. Fortunately, there are people in America who recognize the need for compassionate care of these innocents and they are coming together to have a thoughtful and practical discussion on how we as a country can fulfill our moral obligation to these immigrant children and families.

The Immigration Advocates Network and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center invite you to join a free webinar, “Best Practices for Screening and Representing Unaccompanied Children,” on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm Eastern / 3:00 pm Central / 2:00 pm Mountain / 1:00 pmPacific. The webinar will discuss the deportation system for children; the attorney-client relationship and ethical considerations; working with children who are traumatized; best practices for screening; and options for relief, with a focus on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum. The panelists are Hayley Upshaw, Senior Attorney, Legal Services for Children; Kristen Jackson, Senior Attorney, Public Counsel; and Erin Maxwell, Social Worker, Legal Services for Children. The moderator is Angie Junck, Supervising Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Here is your opportunity to help, listen, or just learn more about the issue from people who care and people who know.

To register for this free webinar, visit https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/541007126. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar.

If you have questions, email the advocates at support@immigrationadvocates.org.

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