- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Beleaguered Border Patrol agents who have become the sudden caregivers to thousands of  unaccompanied minor children arriving daily on the Southwestern border of the U.S are getting some help from a charity with a strong international presence. Save the Children, a charity founded in 1919 and now active in 120 countries, announced Monday it had begun working to ease the situation “now overwhelming border control institutions ill-prepared to meet the basic needs of such large numbers of unaccompanied children.”

The Connecticut-based organization opened “a child-friendly space” in McAllen, Texas on Saturday to provide psychosocial support and care programs for an estimated 150 mothers and children each day. The method has become a staple outreach of the charity, meant to restore some sense of “normalcy and community” for kids in crisis situation, the group says.

They are also working closely with with government agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, has pledged $100 million in aid to several the Central Americans nation, plus an additional $161.5 million to the Central American Regional Security Initiative - assistance the White House predicts will help curb the surge of children at a basic level. The White House also hopes to counter popular ideas that there are no consequences for crossing the border, and that those who make it can stay in the U.S.

“Some of that is an information campaign and countering this intentional misinformation campaign that’s being propagated by criminal syndicates,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.

Local charities have already joined the fray.

“Our nation is facing a humanitarian crisis. We are called to step up,” said Heather Reynolds, president/CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, currently sheltering 200 unaccompanied minors, with plans to double its shelter capacity for children under age 13.

Local churches and volunteers lead their own charge. Such is the case of Mayor Arturo Garino of Nogales, Arizona, who has personally seen to local donations of clothing, toys and footwear for arriving children..

“There are about six ladies helping my wife, sorting more stuff,” the mayor recently told Nogales International, a local news group.

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