Editorial

We’ve all seen the emotional news reports, TV clips and social media posts about children being separated from their families at the U.S. border.

Politicians, social workers, other officials and the families themselves report seeing the same scenes: the emotional tragedy, some children being ripped out of the hands of their families. And, the traumatic after-effects for the children.

No matter where you fall on the political scale, we should all agree that this is senseless and unnecessary.

Thankfully, good news is about to sweep across the Crossroads.

Devereux Victoria soon will provide short-term shelter care for children entering the U.S. without proper documentation or legal guardians.

“We believe this work is vital for our community, and we welcome others to consider joining our team or contacting us about other opportunities to get involved,” Richard Perkins recently told the Advocate. Perkins is the campus administrator at Devereux Victoria, which is just east of Fannin.

We think this is a great move by Devereux, and they should be applauded for it. Our businesses and organizations can and should help provide solutions.

That’s a good thing, because the situation can still get worse.

An Associated Press report found that migrant children who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border last year suffered post-traumatic stress and other serious mental health problems, according to a government watchdog report. The chaotic reunification process only added to their ordeal.

Some cried inconsolably. Others believed their parents had abandoned them and were angry and confused.

“Other children expressed feelings of fear or guilt and became concerned for their parents’ welfare,” according to the report.

The report found that overwhelmed facilities and unclear federal policies for the unification process were key problems.

But, Devereux stepping up to help – not only in Victoria but in its other facilities across the country – is really important.

The length of stay for the migrants at Devereux will vary according to the needs of each child, though the agency reports it will likely range from 30 to 60 days, Roach said.

“During the short time they are with us, refugee children will receive medical, therapeutic, recreational and educational services designed specifically to address the traumas they have sustained during, and often before, their migration journey,” Roach said.

We urge further action by the federal government, that will help clarify post-release options and open more facilities. Rules and regulations help, but if they aren’t followed or are unclear, then news articles, TV clips and social media blasts will continue.

The story will get worse, and none of us want that.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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