DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The image of a crying child — captured by photographer John Moore — seems to have pushed the nation’s conscience a tear too far. Others of children in cages and tent cities have moved many Americans to outrage and now — action.
“They’re calling, texting, emailing,” says Bucker International President and CEO Albert Reyes. “They all want to know what they can do to help.”
For now, Reyes says the decision to end the border separations is a good one. But, warns that alone won’t end the crisis.
“People are not just moving from north to south. People want to get to a place where they can survive and thrive as families– and it’s not going to end any time soon.”
Buckner Int’l has been caring for kids since before the civil war — some 139 years. Their experts say the immigration crisis is a reminder that support is needed at the border, yes, but also in our own backyards. He says that right now some 32,000 Texas children have been removed from their families due to abuse and neglect — and only half that number are in foster care because there aren’t enough suitable homes.
“I don’t want to minimize what’s happening at the border,” says Reyes. “We definitely need to be supportive. Let’s also realize that the same issue that’s playing out in our border is in our state.”
He recalls the roughly 60,000 unaccompanied immigrant children detained at the nation’s southern borders in 2014. Whether it’s dangerous homes or dangerous countries fueling the crisis of care for children, he says the conditions aren’t going away.
“It’s going to happen again. It really ought to tell us that we ought to be better prepared, next time.”
Local advocates say whether it’s cash, toys or crayons or perhaps becoming a foster parent, there are many ways for North Texans to help. Volunteers are also needed but, the vetting process takes time, so get started now.