FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Child advocates in North Texas expressed relief Wednesday after hearing President Donald Trump decided he will keep families together after they cross the border illegally.
During a news conference, Dr. Bob Sanborn, President and CEO of Children At Risk said, “Absolutely, that is what we want to do. We want to see an end to the family separation policy.”
Between May 5 and June 9, the Department of Homeland Security said there were 2,342 children separated from their parents along the border as part of a zero-tolerance policy.
“When that child is separated, that does irreparable harm and so if we can stop that policy of these children being separated, then we’re helping out these kids and we’ve gone a long way,” Dr. Sanborn.
Catholic Charities of Fort Worth began a few days ago caring for an undisclosed number of children who were separated from their parents.
Neither Catholic Charities nor the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese will say how many children are being cared for or where they are being housed.
They are a mix of boys and girls and pre-school and elementary-school age, a mix of boys and girls, and aside from food and clothing, they’ll also receive any medical or psychological care necessary, take part in recreational activities, and receive tutoring from Fort Worth ISD teachers.
Catholic Charities will now try to reunite the children with their parents and families.
If not, they will try to place them with foster families.
On Wednesday evening, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that after several days of identifying potential shelters for separated children, the feds notified him they would no longer need space.
Bishop Michael Olson of the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese sharply criticized the President’s policy. “A zero-tolerance policy is extreme.”
He said he is grateful for the president’s executive order to keep families together, and urged more action.
“Congress and our government leaders have a responsibility though to reform the immigration system and provide for a just and secure border.”
House Republicans have proposed two bills that would keep families together, limit family migration, and provide about $18 billion for an expanded border wall among other things.
Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have each filed bills that would keep families together while they await their day in court.
President Trump said he will continue a zero-tolerance policy at the border.