Immigrant families to receive care in Albuquerque
July 25, 2018 12:54 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Families that were separated at the border are expected to receive care in Albuquerque.
“We just can't get our minds off those children,” said Jim Barclay, with Lutheran Family Services.
Many of the immigrant children and their parents were reunited in Otero County after being separated for months.
“At the point they leave the detention center, they're free to move about the country. ICE's job is done. They're bringing them here,” explained Barclay.
Charity groups mobilized their resources Friday, ready to welcome families to Albuquerque.
“It's once again a testament to the human spirit. Not only theirs but this whole community to wrap around people like this and give of themselves, makes you feel good, even when the situation has made a lot of people feel bad about themselves, about America,” said Barclay.
Now, hundreds of backpacks, filled with supplies, wait for the immigrants.
“The best moment will be when they close their hotel room, and they're together. For the first time alone, in all these many months,” said Barclay.
Volunteers with UNM Hospital will offer the families mental and physical evaluations.
“Most of the families, I would imagine, would be experiencing anxiety and depression, but consequences of separation which would be known as post-traumatic stress disorder, you won't see the consequences until later on,” said Mauricio Tohen, UNM’s Department of Psychiatry Chair.
After the evaluations, the immigrants are free to leave Albuquerque and go to other parts of the country, possibly where they have family. That's where they're supposed to get more help and resources in their immigration journey.
However, the families will still have to face the legal consequences of the United States’ immigration laws.
“We're told that most of them will have ankle bracelets and we've seen pictures of those, yes. They can monitor. They get an ankle bracelet and a charger and they maintain that until whenever,” said Barclay.
Hundreds of immigrants are expected to travel through Albuquerque over the course of the week.
Updated: July 25, 2018 12:54 AM
Created: July 25, 2018 12:47 AM
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