Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gabaldón urges quick action to address humanitarian needs of migrant children in Nogales

                                                                                                                      
 Gabaldón urges quick action to address humanitarian needs of migrant children in Nogales

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Rep. Rosanna Gabaldón, D-Sahuarita (District 2), sent a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer encouraging her and agency directors to develop a plan to assist the migrant families and children that the federal government has custody of and transported to Arizona.

“I share the governor’s sentiments regarding the federal government’s actions. I am stunned and appalled by the decision to leave thousands of families and children, who were in federal custody for reported immigration violations, in Arizona without humanitarian support,” Gabaldón said. “Although immigration is a federal policy issue, I believe that when people in our state are suffering, regardless of how they arrived here, we must ensure they receive humane treatment. This is especially true when children are involved.”

Gabaldón recently toured the U.S. Border Patrol Youth Detention Center in Nogales where federal officials are holding some of the unaccompanied migrant minors.

“The situation is still dire. The facility is too crowded, and sanitation facilities remain an issue,” Gabaldón said. “I am afraid this kind of environment may contribute to outbreaks of illness or violence.”

In her letter to the governor, Gabaldón added that, following Hurricane Katrina, state agencies and private contractors quickly came together to provide relief services for hundreds of refugees who came to Arizona.

“Our state is capable of providing swift and efficient humanitarian relief. I urge the governor and state agency directors to implement a plan similar to the one that was so effective after Hurricane Katrina,” Gabaldón said. “This is another opportunity for all of us to demonstrate a commitment to child safety in Arizona.”

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