State Rep. Seneca Scott has praised the work of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches to aid immigrant families.
At the request of bishops and other church leaders that comprise the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, the organization established a task force to determine how churches and faith groups can respond to the influx of unaccompanied children to Fort Sill.
“We can all agree that as Christians, we have a duty to aid children when they are in a time of crisis,” said Scott, D-Tulsa. “I think the Oklahoma Conference of Churches is setting the standard for how we should respond in these situations. They are highly organized and very committed to doing what they can for these children and their families.”
As the federal government is handling the basic needs of the children, the church’s focus has been recruiting pro-bono legal services to represent them, licensed clinicians, counselors and clinician’s assistants. Lawyers willing to help should contact Richard Klinge, Senior Director of Advocacy and Legal Services under Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Oklahoma at (405) 523-3000 or rklinge@CatholicCharitiesOK.org. Other professionals should contact Cheryl McGuire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has opened a hotline for parents at 1-800-203-7001. There are approximately 47,000 of these immigrant children in U.S. custody and the number is soon expected to exceed 60,000.
“I do not know what the fate of these children will ultimately be, but they should be protected and cared for during this transition period in their lives,” Scott said.