New York State to Provide Immediate Services to Immigrant Children

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Separated Children at the Border
Screenshot from PBS News Hour video

The State of New York will provide immediate services and resources to help unaccompanied immigrant children and those separated from their parents.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to disclose information about the immigrant children transferred to facilities in New York from the U.S.-Mexico border.

At the time, the governor emphasized, “It’s my legal responsibility to provide for the health and welfare of the children in my state. They are in my state and I intend to fulfill my legal responsibility, even if they’re going to abrogate theirs.”

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

During a press conference on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “The Trump Administration’s separation of immigrant families is either an historic example of gross incompetence of government or a political tactic that would make Machiavelli blush.”

New York is doing everything to help immigrant children

Additionally, the governor said, “New York is intervening to do everything that we can to help the children who are separated and the larger populations of immigrant children in our state.”

Currently,  there are at least 1,292 unaccompanied immigrant children being care for by foster care facilities, foster families, and sponsors in New York. The number is remains unverified.

According to the governor, the state will provide the following services to the immigrant children:

  • Group and individual counseling;
  • Information and referral services to assist families with meeting their needs including health and mental health services;
  • Peer support groups;
  • Assistance with educational and language services;
  • Education and prevention activities related to human trafficking and gang violence.

It will also ensure that they will have access to legal representation through the Liberty Defense Project.

Facilities caring for immigrant children will receive funding and resources

The state will also provide facilities caring for immigrant children with resources to support public safety.

New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul said, “We are committed to providing these facilities with the funding and resources they need to properly provide and care for these children as they face this difficult situation.”

In addition, she stressed, “New York will not tolerate the Trump Administration’s violation of immigrants’ constitutional rights.  We will continue to fight against these inhumane measures to end this tragedy.”

Last week, Gov. Cuomo also announced that the state of New York will sue the Trump Administration over its family separation policy. He pointed out that the federal government violated the Constitutional rights of children.

Many including Republicans criticized and pressured the Trump administration to end it’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. They called the practice inhumane and un-American.

In response to the criticisms and pressure from both sides of the aisle, Pres. Donald Trumo signed an executive order to stop the practice. Instead, the federal government will keep families together in immigrant detention.