The federal government is looking to place tens of thousands of children who have come across the border in the past year, and some will be coming to a Cumberland County children’s home.
The United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg is receiving a grant to give some of the unaccompanied children temporary shelter. They will arrive in August, but the CEO says they don’t know how many of them there will be.
Elsewhere in the country, people have held protests about the arrival of these children. Some people had mixed reactions to the news in Mechanicsburg.
“I’m happy that they’re coming in here we can do something about it, versus just dumping them in the streets somewhere,” says Terry Powers of Camp Hill.
But some also say they want more information from the government about the children’s health screenings and histories.
“I can’t bring toenail clippers on an airplane, but people can just roll in undocumented,” says Chris Hines of Camp Hill.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates about 70 percent of the children are boys between the ages of 14 and 17.
The government works to reunite them with family here in the U.S. Local lawmakers are calling for increased border security and cooperation from the Central American countries most of the children come from to stem the growing numbers of children crossing illegally.
Here is the full statement from the United Methodist Home for Children:
The United Methodist Home for Children has been approved to receive an Urgent and Compelling Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service to provide temporary shelter services to unaccompanied alien children beginning August 2014.
We understand the issue of immigration has raised many questions nationally. However, in staying true to the Home’s history and mission, we are committed to providing a safe and caring environment for any children who, through no fault of their own, are in desperate need of help while explorations are being made for their future.
We will also be undergoing training in Washington, DC in the next few weeks, and when we have more information on the status of the children and the program, we will follow up with you.
David L. Reed