Advocates Call Attention to Growing Immigration Crisis
Betsy Plum with the New York Immigration Coalition says nearly fifty thousand unaccompanied minors from Latin America crossed into the United States by foot in the past six months.
She says most of these children are taken into temporary shelters while immigration authorities find them sponsors in the country.
"There are these very large, basically holding pens that we're seeing a lot of photos of," she said. "In some cases, they're not terrible."
Plum says the children receive basic services while they're detained. But she says the help stops at shelter doors. Plum and other advocates are calling for legal and social services to help these minors adjust to life in America following their long and dangerous journeys.
"It can be very traumatic, even if we take aside all the other traumatic elements of this voyage, trying to adjust to new food, new weather, a new city, a new language, and new people who are supposedly your family, but you don't know them," she said.
Plum says a number of immigration organizations around the country are discussing possible solutions for this growing problem.