U.S. Law Center

What steps can be taken to help unsheltered migrants?

The migrant flood from South American countries has taken a large toll on many parts of the U.S. recently. Facilities of any sort simply aren't equipped to deal with the high number of unaccompanied youths and families that have crossed the border, leading to a shortage in housing, food, clothing and other amenities. This may lead some people to ask what they can do to help these migrants while they wait for their day in immigration court. Here is some general advice that may be used to help give aid to those in need.

Migrants who are waiting for their hearing will often have a lot on their plate just because of the legal complexities of the immigration system. This can put other concerns out of the picture. Because of that, a person can help them handle other aspects of their current living situation by donating to local nonprofit organizations or churches which donate to sheltering facilities. Food, clothing and other necessities such as toiletries are in high demand.

For those who have more of the ability and desire to do so, there is also the option of joining with a foster care facility and temporarily sheltering immigrant youths. Many foster care facilities will provide extra monthly allowance for those who take in multiple immigrant youths, especially since the recent spike has made it harder for foster systems to handle the volume.

The sheltering system for immigrants may need to be adapted to suit the rising number. In the meantime, helping to ease the burden on the shelters and housing systems by donating or volunteering your time and effort may make the situation much easier for everyone involved.

Source: New America Media, "Underground Networks Spring Up to Help Migrant Kids in U.S.," Laura Sanchez, July 15, 2014

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