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Everybody is talking about the refugee children but nobody knows what to do. They want to help, but they don't know how. Hispanics In Philanthropy's Fellow, Alex Parker-Guerrero has come up with three simple suggestions on how you can help.

Recently, the Obama administration announced a plan to expedite the deportation process of unaccompanied minors apprehended in detention centers at the U.S. – Mexico border. The flight of young children from countries in Central America to the United States is no new phenomenon, but the amount of minors being caught has escalated in the last couple of years. In 2014 alone, it is estimated that up to 90,000 unaccompanied minors will be detained, far exceeding the capacity of a federal detention system that is designed to hold only 8,000 people. This summer, the issue has received an unprecedented amount of attention in the country’s public discourse and national media, making now an important opportunity to address the issue.

I work for Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), an Oakland, California based organization that connects Latino-led and Latino serving nonprofit organizations to grant makers. After careful consideration, we have decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign on our crowdfunding platform, HIPGive.org, to help nonprofits that provide direct services to detained unaccompanied minors raise money for their programs. Nonprofits that we hope to work with are already providing ‘know your rights’ workshops to these children, coordinating pro bono legal representation, and working to foster more humane living conditions in detention centers.

As the federal government works continuously to fortify the the border, programs that provide meaningful services to these children are in jeopardy, and the work of philanthropic foundations, non-profit organizations, and other non-governmental organizations like ours will become crucial.

Equally important, however, is that American citizens help us to address this issue. While you may not work for an organization that is directly involved, here are three simple things that you can do to help:

1. Change the narrative. Understand that policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have not incentivized child migration. Child refugees from Central America are not pulled to U.S. by the allure of “soft” liberal immigration policies, but are instead pushed out of their home countries by factors such as violence, economic depression, and governmental corruption. Had conditions been better in their home countries, most of these children would not have left.

2. Advocate. Whether this means engaging in a conversation with your friends, boycotting a particular company, or pressuring your governmental representative, it is important that we take stances on this issue. The relevance of child migrants in our current political discourse makes now a very important time.

3. Give. This can mean volunteering your legal skills, donating $5 dollars to a nonprofit, or anything in between. Check out hipgive.org, other crowdfunding sites, or simply search the web for nonprofits that are working on this issue. It is important that organizations working with this issue receive support from the general public.

In addition, HIP's president, Diana Campoamor, outlines ways the philanthropic sector can respond to the humanitarian crisis in an opinion piece published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. We see this is not as an immigration issue, but an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has the potential to quietly continue if gone unchallenged.

-by Alex Parker-Guerrero, HIPGive Fellow, Hispanics in Philanthropy

Hispanics in Philanthropy and GCIR have joined forces to provide philanthropy with the information and resources needed to respond effectively to the thousands of immigrant children who have come to the United States to escape violence in Central America and Mexico.
Unaccompanied Children Migrating to the United States: Resources for Philanthropy

Originally posted to Hispanics in Philanthropy on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is not one of those problems with (7+ / 0-)

    no good solution. The solution is to let in every kid who has relatives or others willing to sponsor them. We're a country of 350 million people, and absorbing a few hundred thousand kids is not going to hurt anybody. While they may require some economic subsidy from the public (e.g. for education, health care, etc.), we know that immigrants are net positives for our economy over the long term. Many of these children will grow up to be entrepreneurs, or teachers, or scientists. I know that many in this country simply don't like brown people, but as for the rest of us, the solution is quite simple - let's let them in.

    •  I don't know. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      That sounds like a good solution to me. Sure it would be better if they weren't forced here in the first place but there's nothing* we can do about that.

      *While not actually true-- there's quite a few things we could do to make Central America more stable-- I don't see anything happening any time soon while half our politicians are busy trying to find a way to demonize children fleeing poverty.

      "...So the world might be mended"

      by Cofcos on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Front page of San Jose Mercury News: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Wee Mama, FarWestGirl, Penny GC

    "County weighs plan to host kids - Proposal involves housing some migrant children in individual family homes".  Only homes approved as foster care can be considered.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 05:40:23 PM PDT

  •  This might sound outlandish but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ajaradom, Cofcos

    we need to deal directly the social disease that created this mess in the first place.

    My plan:

    1) First and foremost we need a cure, not a mere treatment, for drug addiction. Elimination of the very desire that drug addicts have as opposed to pathetic treatments like Methadone. Such treatments have to be taken on a regular basis by the addict and the bureaucracy needed to dispense them is very costly.

    2) This will lower the demand for drugs or perhaps even eliminate it. I'd be happy with a 90% reduction.

    3) This in turn will ruin the drug cartel's profit. They will probably implode although there might still be a drastically reduced demand.

    4) A combination of a no nonsense aggressive law enforcement on top of the elimination of any significant demand.

    5) This will reduce the violence throughout Mexico and Central America that is creating this migration.

    I know that people will consider #1 to be unattainable or it may take many years to create such a cure but the pathetic fact is that we already have an anti-addictive drug. It's name is Ibogaine. It's worth Googling. It's been around for several decades but the government does not fund any research because Ibogaine, in itself, is a hallucinogen.

    What research has been done indicates that addictions are either completely eliminated or the addict only needs an occasional booster dose of Ibogaine. There is no addiction to the drug itself and the dosing is done under a doctors strict supervision.

    There are clinics in Costa Rica and, ironically, in Mexico.

    Too bad that politicians are visionless and stupid. We could empty half our jails but then private jails are a thriving business that must be kept full.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 09:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Keep doing the same thing over and over again (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional
    Hidden by:
    doc2

    and it doesn't work.

    "Immigration "reform" doesn't require hundreds of pages of new legislation, new waivers, new employment permits, more lawyers or visa expansion programs. It starts and ends with this:

    Stop pouring fuel on the border chaos fire, and let our forces on the front lines do their jobs.
     

  •  Thank you for this very (2+ / 0-)

    straight-forward post.  It helps.

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    by a gilas girl on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 04:40:19 AM PDT

  •  Important post and disappointing that it's not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hispanics in Philanthropy

    getting more attention.

    If I can make a suggestion, an edit to the title and republish it may raise the profile and get more eyes.

    Something along the lines of "Unaccompanied Minors, New Org & What You Can Do' might catch a bit more. It takes some practice to catch attention, as big as the site here has become.

    Welcome, and thank you for posting.

    PS- Links to web sites or other resources and documentation are also helpful.

    Personally, I have been emphasizing that they are refugees, rather than immigrants, that seems to help shift the narrative.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

  •  Arrest Republicans. Always a good solution. (0+ / 0-)

    Arrest the Republican corporate executives who hire undocumented immigrants.

    Fewer kids will have relatives up here.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:00:38 AM PDT

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