The Archdiocese of Chicago is looking to get federal permission to provide services to unaccompanied children who have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States, Cardinal Francis George told the Chicago Sun-Times.
More than 400 unaccompanied children from Central American countries are reportedly in Chicago and staying in nine different facilities run by the Heartland Alliance.
“The Archdiocese of Chicago is asking the federal government to allow us to feed and provide safe temporary housing for the refugee children who are being brought here,” George said. “The many children on the Mexico-U.S. border who are in danger and without adequate shelter call for a compassionate and merciful response.”
“We need to protect these abandoned children,” he added.
The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Maryville Academy are reportedly on board with George to help children from the border crisis who have arrived in the Chicago area.
“The archdiocese is working on an application to the government — the U.S. Health and Human Services Department — to care for the children,” Gorge's spokeswoman Colleen Dolan told the newspaper.
Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central American countries have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States.