(RNS) Religious leaders urged President Obama and Congress to provide funding for legal assistance to unaccompanied migrant children who are in U.S. custody after fleeing violence, murder and extortion abroad.

Minerva Garza Carcaño is the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church.

Minerva Garza Carcaño is the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church. Creative Commons image by Paul Jeffrey

The emergency funds would go toward helping children who have entered the United States without lawful immigration papers and without a parent or guardian. The money could also help meet mental health needs.

Multiple speakers, including United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano and the Rev. David Vasquez, spokesman for the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, took part in a national teleconference Thursday (July 10). They then sent a petition signed by more than 3,800 people to Congress.

“We are asking President Obama, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to do the right thing by providing funding for the care and due process of these migrant children — including the full implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act,” said Carcano.

Carcano visited the Oxnard detention facility in California this week and said it was at capacity with 570 children. The children were clean and well-dressed, she said, but there were no funds for mental health care or legal assistance.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democratic congresswoman from California, emphasized that it is time for Congress to respond.

“None of this is perfect,” Lofgren said. But, she continued, “as a country we can step up and do a lot better.”

YS/MG END ADAMS

 

18 Comments

  1. See?

    Left anf right alike totally sack the public treasury for their pet project. Of course helping people is a worthy cause, but have you seen the debt clock?

    You are already broke. And flipping thay bill to unborn american “fetuses” is immoral if yoy believe they represent more than the modern terminology legally implies.

  2. For someone who complains about “fascist government”, you don’t seem to have a problem with a concentration camp full of children or deporting them to certain peril.

  3. The headline is misleading.Many Christian leaders are advocating deporting the children immediately and securing the border.
    For example, Bryan Fischer: ‘Our Southern Border Is There By God’s Design’ http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-our-southern-border-there-gods-design
    and Pastor Jeffress:Pastor Robert Jeffress tells Fox: Jesus would have wanted a border fence http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/10/pastor-robert-jeffress-tells-fox-jesus-would-have-wanted-a-border-fence/

    • The Great God Pan

      Misleading headlines are par for the course at RNS, where people of faith are progressive and cuddly despite all the evidence to the contrary (including comments from its own religious readers such as Lles Nats).

  4. Chaplain Martin

    Many religious groups have had a long history of not asking for any government support of social causes. Baptist is one of the main ones. Baptist children’s homes probably receive DFCS payments for the children committed to their care but these a independent from the denomination, as a rule.

    My point is don’t ask government to fund any church’s efforts. Any federal or state fund must be to a cooperation that is secular in nature.
    Please my church friends turn to the faithful in your own flocks. Come together across denominational and even religious lines and reach out with your hearts. As Bob the builder says: “You can do it.”

  5. People won’t stand by and watch children suffer.
    It is impossible. It doesn’t matter what religion does or does not do.

    Religion wants to take credit for everything – but it is an empty claim because they cause worse pain to children than they alleviate!

    Atheists are working hard to relieve these problems
    Not only for today’s crisis on this border but all around the world.

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  1. […] Religion News Service reported that the petition's sponsors held a national teleconference on July 10 to discuss the need for Congress and the president to provide emergency funds. "We are asking President Obama, Congress and the Department of Homeland Security to do the right thing by providing funding for the care and due process of these migrant children," said one speaker, United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano, to RNS. […]

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