Children of migrant families in the US are living in fear that they could be taken from their parents at any time, since the Trump administration began its deportation program.
Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who is vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops told the US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements at the Central Catholic High School in Modesto Northern California: "If one wants to understand the impact of the raids that US border guards have carried out in more than 60 communities across the country since the beginning of February alone, let us listen to the children: They do not want to go school, because they think that their parents are going to be taken away, while they are not there."
Ellie Hidalgo, in charge of the social pastoral of the parish said: "We have children at the Dolores Mission - if their parents arrive late home from work they immediately become anxious. The situation is becoming very tense.. And if their parents do not return home, where will those children end up?
"In parishes across the country, we are offering information meetings to help people without documents, so they can learn about their rights, how to proceed, if US Immigration and Customs officials go to their homes, what do they have to do? For example, officials cannot enter if the door is not opened.
Who is going to take care of your child if anything happens," she said. Ms Hidalgo said parents need to prepare a signed document naming a proxy, someone else who could look after their child, if they are deported.
"It may not be necessary, but it is better to be safe. One of our greatest fears, is if you do not have a proxy, the child could end up in the system of foster children. This is a real possibility."
The meeting of the Popular Movement promoted by the Vatican was programmed before Trump's victory and the main concern was the situation of many undocumented migrants.
Read more about the Dolores Mission here: www.dolores-mission.org/about/leadership/fr-scott-santarosa-s-j/
Source: Fides/Dolores Mission