In recent weeks, the issue of family separation has come to the foreground of political discussions. This comes after the Administration’s decision to separate families seeking asylum at the border has sparked significant controversy. Numerous families are being torn apart, leading to an increased number of unaccompanied minors. The Administration responded to criticism by stating that the extraordinary measures being taken are simply in response to the surge in number of people attempting to illegally cross the border.
However, public outcry led the administration to halt the separation of families after 2,500 children were reported separated from their parents. Although the issue is focused near the Southern border, communities around the country are feeling the effects of this policy, including our own at USCRI Albany, in upstate New York.
Albany County’s jail is currently being used as a detention center for over 300 adult immigrants, many of whom are seeking asylum. Albany Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic, along with the nonprofit Legal Project, is spearheading efforts to help them navigate the immigration system. Hundreds of volunteers are assisting the Albany detainees, and hundreds more have stepped in an effort give additional assistance.
On June 21st, USCRI reiterated its opposition to family separation and urged the Administration to immediately act to pass legislation that protects children and respects the rights of persons seeking asylum.
A number of organizations, including USCRI Albany, are actively assisting new arrivals and guiding them on a path toward safety, self-sufficiency, prosperity, and ultimately happiness. USCRI Albany offers an array of different services, including English-language classes, Reception and Placement, and Matching Grant. It is their goal, as well as the goal of the entire USCRI network, to ensure that these uprooted people are granted the right to a new beginning, in their new backyards.
Learn more about the refugee crisis in Albany here.